Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Millenials are making up a growing share of the Cape Town CBD’s population, a new survey shows.

According to the provisional results of a survey by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), 47% of all respondents living in the CBD in 2016 were between the ages of 18 and 34, compared with 44% in 2015. A total of 232 people responded to the survey.

"Clearly, our downtown area is echoing the trend that has been spotted in many other downtowns across the world, where urban living is really being embraced by millennials.

"An urban lifestyle ‘defines’ them, but it also puts paid to the misconception that the Cape Town central city is too expensive to live in if you’re under 35," CCID spokeswoman Carola Koblitz says.

The CCID is a private-public partnership that provides urban management services in parts of Cape Town’s inner city.

Among residents living in the CBD, those now renting units slightly outstrip those who own the property (46% rentals to 43% owned) compared with 2015 figures (46% rentals to 52% owned).

"This makes sense when you see that the category regarding owners who own a flat in the CBD but rent it out to others has increased significantly year on year, from 3% in 2015 [to] 12% in 2016," Koblitz says.

"And we know from the day-to-day inquiries we get from people wanting to rent in the CBD that the demand is high."

The top reason cited for living in the CBD and its immediate surrounds was that it was close to residents’ place of work (58%). Many residents (34%) were able to live within 0.5km of their workplace.

Koblitz says there is still a lot of work to be done ahead of the release of the final results of the survey in December.

"We are very keen to see, for example, where residents prefer to go for entertainment, how often do they eat out or get a takeaway, what jobs do they do, how big are their households, where do they shop, and what retail and other amenities would they like to see more of?

"But we also want to take careful cognizance of any figures that may have shown a decline, if we find any, from the 2015 results," she says.

"While this can still only be considered a dipstick survey — we had a total of 232 respondents this year — we take the results extremely seriously, as they give us an indication of who is living in our downtown area and, most importantly, what would keep them here.

"Our aim is to have a downtown that is as far as possible reflective of the workforce and student population who occupy the CBD during its daylight hours. Then you have a community that takes ownership and cares about its neighbourhood."

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