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 continues as a tense housing market area

28/07/2021 - 12:29

Housing. From September the approval will come into force and will enable rental prices in the city to be regulated in accordance with the Catalan law.

Barcelona City Council has initially agreed to renew the declaration of Barcelona as a tense housing market area. This was decided in the last plenary session of the Municipal Council, with the vote in favour of the Government groups (BComú and PSC), ERC and Junts. This declaration is necessary so that Law 11/2020 on rental market regulation passed by the Parliament of Catalonia remains in force in the city.

The law states that, one year after coming into force, municipalities have to re-apply if they want to remain a tense housing market area to continue applying the same measures. In this sense, Barcelona meets two requirements provided by law to be able to make this declaration: the burden on family budgets to pay rent is greater than 30% of their income and the increase in prices exceeds the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

So, from September the rent price reference when signing a new rental agreement will be the lowest of either the previous contract price or 95% of that set out by the rent price reference index of the Generalitat Government of Catalonia. Furthermore, unlike last year, there will be a 5% reduction in the rent price reference according to the Generalitat price index and housing with a useful surface area greater than 150m2 may also benefit from this rental agreement regulation.

This declaration will come into force the day after publication in the Official Catalan Government Gazette (DOGC), and the deadline for filing allegations will be 15 days counted after publication of the announcement in the Official Gazette of Barcelona Province (BOPB), the DOGC and the transparency portals of the Generalitat Government of Catalonia and Barcelona City Council, in other words, until 12 August 2021.


Regulation guaranteed for five years

The renewal is a measure of great importance for Barcelona, one of the cities in Spain where a large part of the population rents housing, specifically over 30%, and where prices have increased 31% between 2015 and 2020. That is why Barcelona City Council continues working to prevent abusive increases in the last few years and facilitates decent housing that is accessible to all.

In this sense, the city council’s commitment, the financial data on the decrease in available family income, and the increase in unemployment due to the Covid-19 crisis are reasons why this declaration remains in force for five years, the maximum amount of time provided by law.

Share this content