Low mortgage interest rates are giving sales of existing condominiums and cooperatives a boost, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors.

The third quarter study showed a national seasonally adjusted sales rate of 409,000 previously owned apartment condominiums and cooperatives. The third-quarter resale rate was 19.6% higher than that for the third quarter of 1992, and 9.7% higher than that for the second quarter of 1993.

Continued low interest rates broadened opportunities for many moderate-income and first-time homebuyers, according to William S. Chee, president of the Realtors group.

Moderate Price Rise

Though apartment prices rose moderately from the second quarter, falling rates more than compensated for the rise, thus opening the market to some who may have been previously excluded.

As co-ops and condos are, on average, 22% less expensive than single-family homes they attract more first-time and moderate income homebuyers. A strong showing in the resale index is seen as a good proxy for purchase and moderate income activity.

Sales of co-ops and condos rose across the country. The sharpest increase was registered in the Northeast. There, units were sold at a rate of 99,000 during the third quarter, an increase of 28.6% from the year earlier period and 32% from the previous quarter.

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