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 declared a rent pressure zone

29/06/2023 - 14:49

Housing. The decree was signed in line with the new state law on housing.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, has signed a decree declaring Barcelona a rent pressure zone, in line with the new state law on housing. The move gives legal strength to the process initiated by the Government of Catalonia, as the administration with powers in this sphere, to define pressure areas, apply the law and protect local residents by regulating the prices of rents.

The new Housing Act sets out four requisites for declaring a rent pressure zone. The law can be applied if an area meets one of these criteria. In Barcelona’s case, the city meets three: the percentage of income that households use to pay their rent or mortgage and utility bills exceeds 30% in both cases, and the price of their rent in the last five years is more than 3% higher than the evolution of inflation.

Regulation and tax breaks

The new law also sets out differences in establishing the price of a rent if the owner has multiple properties (owns more than ten homes). In the case of owners of multiple homes, rental prices are limited to the price reference index from the Government of Catalonia. For owners of fewer homes, the rental price for new contracts will be determined by the previous contract.

Tax breaks are also available for owners who rent out homes. For new contracts there’s a 50% reduction in income tax, rising to 90% where the price of the rent is 5% lower than the previous contract. If the flat is rented out to tenants under the age of 35, the discount will be 70%.

Between 36% and 43% of income is used to pay for housing

According to data published by the National Statistics Institute for 2020, local people in Barcelona spend 36% of their income to pay for their rent. For mortgages, the percentage of income used is 43%.

Rents have increased by 21.1% in the last five years, rising from an average of 889.6 euros a month in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 1,077.5 euros in the last quarter of 2022. In contrast, inflation for the same period was 14.6%, a difference of 6.5%, more than double the figure set out by the Housing Act for declaring an area as a rent pressure zone.