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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.​

Temporary local housing to combat gentrification

14/02/2018 - 19:33

A temporary solution to extend the city’s public housing stock by industrial manufacturing.

“We’ve quadrupled investment in housing, but we need the Spanish state and the Government of Catalonia to fulfil their obligations. In the meantime, we’ll do absolutely everything in our power to respond to the reality in the city”, explained the Mayor, Ada Colau.

The blocks will be built in neighbourhoods and will combine different resident profiles, catering for people on the waiting list for protected housing and those in emergency housing situations. The fact the homes can be transported means a number of plots of land which are currently empty can be used as interim sites before the municipal projects they are reserved for are built.

Some of the blocks will include public facilities to contribute to community life. The initiative has already been shared with the ITeC, the Federation of Barcelona Residents’ Associations (FAVB), the Fundació Hàbitat3 and other bodies, and has the backing of the Barcelona Council for Social Housing (CHSB).

APROP will be a reality before the year is out, via a pilot scheme with a budget of 5.3 million euros and the construction of 92 homes (21 individual and 71 double) for 250 people. The buildings will be put up on three sites in Ciutat Vella (Gòtic neighbourhood), Sants-Montjuïc (La Bordeta) and Sant Martí (Glòries), three districts where gentrification is a major problem. The plan is for the initiative to gradually be rolled out using sites in all city districts.

The process to build a protected home typically takes between six and seven years from the preliminary administrative steps to the point it is occupied. This new project cuts that time to nine months and offers a temporary response until planned buildings are completed.

APROP homes correspond to a type of housing which is already working successfully in various cities around the world. Similar initiatives in cities such as Copenhagen, Vancouver, Amsterdam and London have been studied and analysed.


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