Sydney's midtown precinct has overtaken other parts of the city as the most lucrative for office rental deals, with more than $1bn worth of decade-long leasing transactions signed in the area during the past year.

It comes with more than $2bn worth of commercial developments under way in the precinct, which runs from south of King Street to Goulburn Street, and as high-profile investment banks such as Morgan Stanley are reported to be looking at buildings to lease in the area. Traditionally, the premium end of the city near Circular Quay -- from the north side of King Street to the east of York Street -- has produced a higher dollar value of transactions.

But now real estate agents believe the dollar value of deals in the past year in midtown is higher than for the premium end of town, commonly called the CBD core, because more space has been leased there.

Real estate agency Colliers International said of its total transactions for the first quarter of 2010, 67% of the space leased in Sydney's CBD was in the midtown area, while just 26% of the space leased was in the CBD core.

The Australian