Tanca Tanca

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.​

  • Barcelona City Council Housing Conference, October 24-25th.
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  • Sorcha Edwards (Housing Europe), Ismael Yrigoy (University of the Balearic Islands) and Javier Burón (Manager of Housing at the City Council).
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  • The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, took part in one of the sessions of the Housing Conference.
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  • Irene Escorihuela (Observatori DESC), Josep Maria Montaner (Councillor for Housing) and Lluís Comerón (Dean of the Architects Association).
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  • Sorcha Edwards (Housing Europe), Ismael Yrigoy (University of the Balearic Islands) and Javier Burón (Manager of Housing at the City Council).
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  • Irene Escorihuela, Max Gigling, Ada Colau and Magnus Hammar at the last seminar of the day.

The current situation and the future of the rental market

On the first day of the Housing Conference, experts, professionals and participants took part in seminars to discuss the current housing situation and the rental market.

Among other issues, these seminars analysed the present legal framework on a Spanish and European level, the effects of tourism as a determining factor in rent prices and the need to set up tenants’ associations for the collective defence of tenants’ rights.


Seminar I: Housing, between Speculation and Dignified Living

Raquel Rodríguez, Polytechnic University of Madrid

Desirée Fields, University of Sheffield


Seminar II: Rental Housing in Other European Cities and the Impact of Mass Tourism

Sorcha Edwards, Housing Europe

Ismael Yrigoy, University of the Balearic Islands


Seminar III: European Experiences of Regulating the Rental Market

Max Gigling, researcher in social housing policies

Magnus Hammar, Secretary General of the International Union of Tenants


Experts' opinion

Investing in Housing: an Economic and Social Option

Sorcha Edwards

Secretary General of Housing Europe

The Housing Market in Spain: Where are we coming from? Where are we going?

Raquel Rodríguez

Architect and professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Tenants’ Unions: a Response for Defending Tenants’ Rights

Magnus Hammar

Secretary General of the International Union of Tenants

Rental control in European cities

Max Gigling

Social housing policies researcher

Financialisation of rental housing

Desirée Fields

Urban geographer, University of Sheffield