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 inaugurates the International Social Housing Festival with public policies at the center of the debate

07/06/2023 - 20:19

Housing. Over 2,000 registered participants are taking part in the ISHF, which takes place from June 7th to 9th, with the presence of professionals from around the world and a program consisting of more than sixty presentations.

Barcelona welcomed hundreds of housing professionals from around the world on Wednesday, June 7th, in the first of the three-day International Social Housing Festival (ISHF). The fourth edition of Europe’s most important sector congress, held from June 7th to 9th, is centered around the Palau de Congressos in Barcelona and has over 2,000 registered attendees.

Architect, researcher, and communicator Núria Moliner welcomed the participants before the opening speech by the acting mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau. Among other aspects, Colau highlighted that it is the first time this renowned congress is being held in Southern Europe, representing a great opportunity to showcase the advancements the city has made in terms of housing.

In the first session titled ‘Emerging housing challenges and solutions in Catalonia and Spain’, participants included Iñaqui Carnicero, the Secretary General of Urban Agenda and Housing of the Spanish government; Marina Berasategui, the Secretary of Housing of the Generalitat; Antonio Balmón, the Acting Mayor of Cornellà de Llobregat and Executive Vice President of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona; and Sorcha Edwards, the Secretary General of Housing Europe.

Public housing policies were at the center of the debate during the session, particularly those aimed at defending the right to housing. In this regard, there was a consensus to work towards a cultural and paradigm shift that places the right to housing at the heart of policies and distances it from the commodification that many sectors subject it to.

During the morning session, the auditorium of the Palau de Congressos also hosted two additional sessions. The first one, titled ‘Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Urban planning strategies to foster housing affordability’, examined various plans to develop the public housing stock from a local to an international scale, with insights from Shane Phillips, the Housing Initiative Manager for the UCLA Lewis Center.

The second presentation, titled ‘Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Increasing the public housing stock’, focused on the current role of social housing in Spain, which represents less than 2% of the total housing stock, and the different strategies available to rapidly expand the public housing supply.

An event with multiple points of interest

However, beyond the main sessions held in the auditorium, each day of the ISHF features numerous presentations in adjacent rooms within the Palau de Congressos, which can be found in the program. In the afternoon, speakers and attendees disperse throughout the city for various activities and scheduled visits to other conference venues.

Additionally, the first day of the ISHF also served as the backdrop for the inauguration of the XII Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (XII BIAU) with the theme ‘Dwelling on the Margin’, providing a space for debate and reflection on housing and urban habitability.