Office leases in Midtown South surged to a five-year high, with rent prices trending up as media and tech firms vied for space in the neighborhood, according to a recent report by CBRE Group Inc.

Leasing agreements were signed for 700,000 square feet in July, a 59-percent increase from the previous year, Bloomberg reported. It was the highest monthly space total for Midtown South since May 2007. The average asking rent price went up 19 percent to $52.39 per square foot. The area’s vacancy rate dropped to 8.3 percent from 9.7 percent in July 2011, according to CBRE.

Wharton Property Advisors Inc. brokerage founding partner Ruth Colp-Haber told Bloomberg that tech companies are “adamant about being in that area… They don’t care about the quality of the building, they don’t care what the space looks like, they’re determined to be there.”

The biggest deal in the neighborhood last month was signed by The New York Genome Center, which took 151,934 square feet at 101 Avenue of the Americas.

For Manhattan overall, leases were inked for 2.61 million square feet in July, a 19-percent increase from the previous year. The average asking rent reached $56.03 per square foot, an 8.3-percent uptick.

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