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.​

A new impulse in the alliance between the Barcelona City Council and the non-profit housing sector

13/12/2021 - 14:59

Housing. Two new plots and a building of 203 homes are incorporated into the agreement signed with GHS, Cohabitac, the XES and Habicoop.

A new impulse for the public housing stock and collaboration with non-profit organisations. The Barcelona City Council has incorporated two new plots and a municipally-owned building into the agreement signed in 2020 with the Association of Social Housing Policy Managers (GHS) and the most representative bodies of the sector, the Coordinating Body of Social Housing Foundations (Cohabitac), the Network of Social and Solidarity Economy (XES) and the Federation of Housing Cooperatives of Catalonia, which plans the construction of around a thousand new apartments, 60% in rental regime and the remaining 40% allocated to cohousing initiatives.

This new incorporation will represent 203 more affordable homes from 2023 onwards, a figure added to the 11 developments of 364 homes already allocated to the organisations which are currently in pre-construction stages, such as drafting of projects and application for permits.

Specifically, these three new developments are:

  • Casernes de Sant Andreu. Passeig de Torras i Bages 126-128. Cohousing of 80 apartments managed by a cooperative.
  • Mont-ral 37 and 39 and Doctor Letamendi 99 and 103. Rental development of 38 homes managed by a foundation. These are buildings acquired by the City Council in early 2021 to halt a speculation process and with a long process of non-compliance with the duty of conservation by the previous proprietor.
  • Bolívia 23-27. Rental development of 85 homes opened to both foundations and rental cooperatives.

An initiative to reinforce the non-profit housing sector

This agreement provides an impulse for social rental housing and for strengthening the social housing foundations and housing cooperatives to diversify the range of agents in the housing and real estate sector. The more powerful the non-profit sector, the more capacity there will be for creating affordable social housing, both in Barcelona and throughout the territory.

This formula also streamlines the enlargement of social housing stock by way of development and renovation. Being non-profit organisations, the processes of drafting projects and awarding works are not subject to lengthy tendering processes. In addition, the agreement regulates municipal control and transparency and guarantees that the ownership of the land and the buildings is 100% municipal and the assignment is made for a determined period of time (99 years).

Finally, this initiative also represents a powerful economic impulse. For the 1,000 apartments planned in the agreement, it is calculated that an investment of 150 million euros will be required, which may result in the creation of almost 1,600 jobs.

New improvements

The City Council and the organisations who signed the agreement in November 2020 agreed to introduce new improvements into it. In the first place, the possibility of increasing the municipal subsidy for the projects, until now limited to 7%, up to 16% for new constructions of no more than 15 homes and in all cases of properties to be renovated. This change will especially benefit singular projects like cohousing for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, all these developments being for fewer than 15 homes.

In the long term, the municipal investment in the form of these subsidies to the organisations will yield a return to future delegated-development projects. Once the organisations have repaid the credits assumed for the construction of homes, in addition to paying the rate, they will have to allocate 50% of the results of the operation to the Municipal Housing Institute or the body to be decided, which in turn will use those funds to finance new delegated housing developments.

In the second place, the agreement has also incorporated improvements in regard to the principles of transparency and objectivity in the procedure of selection and designation of projects and the beneficiary organisations, and in clarity in the application of technical solvency and the designation criteria.