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Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

Close glossary

Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

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How to get information

Housing Offices Network

The Barcelona Housing Office Network is the one-stop place to go for all types of queries or procedures concerning housing. Each district has an office where a team of housing officers will help you to find the best solution to your problem.

Service catalogue

Want to know which services you can find at housing offices?

By phone

Call 010 for further information on the services provided at housing offices.


You can book in advance online for an appointment at any of the housing offices.

Housing Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter to stay up to date on innovations, projects and actions aimed at promoting the right to decent housing for everyone.

Map of the new public-housing promotions in Barcelona

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  • Persons affected by urban planning

    Type of housing promoted by the IMHAB targeting those people or households affected by urban redevelopments or reorganisation in the city. The properties tend to have a surface area of 65 to 85 square metres and can be acquired on a rental or purchase basis at the same prices as social housing properties.

  • Renting

    Refers to all properties being rented, promoted by the IMHAB, that target those people or households that need to be adjudicated a home which satisfies their housing needs. To access any of these adjudications, applicants must be registered with the Barcelona Register of Applicants for Social Housing.

  • Leasehold

    As part of this category, the successful applicant acquires the property for a period of 75 years at a value that is well beneath the market price. On average, these types of property measure 60 square metres and are built in compliance with sustainability criteria. To access any of these adjudications, applicants must be registered with the Barcelona Register of Applicants for Social Housing.

  • Co-housing

    This involves plots of public land allocated to a specific type of cooperative, housing cooperatives, where a group of people organise themselves to promote housing on a plot of land handed over to them by the City Council at an affordable price and by public competition, although it will always remain under public ownership.

  • Social developers and cooperatives

    These are plots of public land allocated to foundations and non-profit organisations that rent out dwellings at affordable prices. They are a collaborative mechanism, but with the novelty that the plots of land will now be awarded through public competition.

  • Aprop housing

    The Provisional Local Housing programme (APROP) is a new model of quick and sustainable housing construction, which offers a temporary response to residents that are excluded or at risk of exclusion, in areas close to their original neighbourhoods. They are prefabricated mobile modules that guarantee quality standards, are distributed throughout the city and take into account diverse resident profiles.


  • Land reserved

    The City Council is allocating a plot of land for housing in a process now underway for holding the project’s relevant invitations to tender, awarding and construction.

  • In process

    From when the plot of land is put out to public tender, for choosing the companies and professionals that will be commissioned with the project and its building work, to when the successful tenderers are announced and the building project can then go ahead.

  • Under construction

    This includes both the implementation of the project through the work and building process and the relevant dwelling award process.

  • Completed

    The dwellings have been built and handed over to the successful applicants.

Looking for housing? Start your search here

Rental advice

We offer you advice so you know your rights and responsibilities with regard to rented accommodation.

Advice on buying and selling a home

We offer you advice so you know your rights and responsibilities with regard to buying and selling a house.