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 signs a new right of superficies for a housing project in Sant Martí

15/11/2023 - 15:03

Habitatge. The Sant Martí district will have more social housing thanks to the development that will be built and managed by the Cooperativa Llar Jove SCCL

Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute for Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), has signed a right of superficies contract to make possible the construction of a new block of subsidised housing under the general system on the site at Carrer de Bolivia, 25-29, in the Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou neighbourhood, in the Sant Martí district. 

The site is under municipal property and the Cooperativa Llar Jove SCCL will be in charge of the construction and management of said social housing complex. The duration of the surface right will be 99 years, counting from the signing of the contract. 

As described in the signed document, the Cooperativa Llar Jove SCCL undertakes to carry out the works within a maximum of two years from the moment it obtains the building permit. 

Development of the ESAL Agreement 

The project of carrer de Bolivia is part of the ESAL Agreement, signed in 2020 by Barcelona City Council and the main federations of cooperatives and social housing foundations. This agreement was created to be a pioneer mechanism for cooperation with the third sector, in which public plots of land are assigned to non-profit organisations and the land is transferred to them. 

This enables the promotion of the construction and renovation of subsidised housing for rental and transfer of the right of use (co-housing) through the constitution of surface rights. It is a tool that boosts the growth of the public housing stock, while diversifying the range of agents involved. 

The ESAL Agreement is an alliance between Barcelona City Council and the Federació de Cooperatives d’Habitatges de Catalunya (FCHC), the Coordinadora de Fundacions d’Habitatge Social (Cohabitac), the Associació Xarxa d’Economia Solidària (XES) and the Associació de Gestors de Polítiques Socials d’Habitatge de Catalunya (GHS).