The American Society of Travel Agents recently moved its international headquarters from New York to condominium offices at Foxhall Road and MacArthur Boulevard NW, where the society had bought 23,153 square feet of space for about $3.5 million.

The society, which has over 17,500 members in 128 countries, made the purchase because it presented "an opportunity to build our members' equity," according to vice chairman William H. Hunt.

Recent developments in commercial real estate in the Washington area:

* Howard Research and Development Corp., the developer of Columbia, Md., has begun construction on a 60,000-square-foot community strip center there. The center, which will be located on Dobbin Road, is expected to have about 20 shops that will "correspond to the needs expressed by Columbia residents in a recent demographic study conducted by HRD," according to a corporation spokesman.

* Penril, a data communications company, has leased over 15,000 square feet of space at 3204 Monroe St. in Rockville.

* The National Abortion Rights Action League has leased 5,000 square feet of space at 1424 K St. NW.

* Tymshare Inc., a national computer company, recently signed a 10-year lease for 63,973 square feet in the Tyson Courthouse Office Building. Tymshare will use the space to consolidate several offices that are currently operating at different locations in Northern Virginia.

* At the Huntington Building in Alexandria, Seaco Inc. has leased about 5,000 square feet of space and Metrocall has leased 7,328 square feet. The building is located at 2560 Huntington Ave.

* Systems Architects Inc., a computer consulting firm based in Boston, is planning to establish a computer data processing center in 10 office condominiums it has purchased at BuildAmerica Six in Alexandria.

* The local law firm of Schuyler, Banner, Birch, McKie & Beckett has leased over 20,000 square feet of space at One Thomas Circle, a building which will adjoin the Madison Hotel when it is completed later this year. Also adjoining the building will be a new Hilton International hotel.

* At Tysons International Office Center in Vienna: Datavue, a computer consulting company has leased about 11,500 square feet; Bly-McGhee, financial consultants, has leased over 6,600 square feet; Zainax International, a development and computer company, over 3,300 square feet; Donald Lewis Power Inc., an engineering firm, about 2,200 square feet, and Ruber N.V. Corp., an import-export firm, over 1,000 square feet.