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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.​

Barcelona to be the international epicentre for architecture in 2026

28/07/2021 - 16:47

Urban planning. The Catalan capital also hosted the World Architecture Congress in 1996.

Barcelona is set to host the most important event in architecture in 2026, with the arrival of the World Architecture Congress by the International Union of Architects (UIA). At the same time, the city will be the UIA-UNESCO World Capital of Architecture. The choice of Barcelona to host these two events recognises the city’s architecture, urban planning and landscape as an international example and will offer a chance to reflect and share experiences on urban planning models and architecture as tools for social development and quality of life.

The assembly by the International Union of Architects, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), chose Barcelona over the other candidate city, the Chinese city of Beijing, by 147 votes to 129. The vote in favour of Barcelona means the city will hose the most important event in this sector in five years’ time. Under the slogan ‘One today, one tomorrow’, the congress will use the city’s world-renowned relationship with architecture as an example to debate a feasible and sustainable future and make an analysis of the current socio-economic and environmental context. The goal is to address the challenges facing architecture and define the tools for meeting them.

At the same time, throughout the year, Barcelona will be organising multi-disciplinary cultural events on architecture and urban planning to convey their importance to all citizens. The city will thus become an inclusive, Mediterranean point of reference, open to the world.

Hosting the two events provides a great opportunity to strengthen the role of the city as a centre for production and thought on architecture and the design of contemporary urban planning. The events will explore the capacity of urban planning to improve people’s lives, well-being and sense of social and cultural belonging, as well as the need be able to extend these factors and make them important in other countries, as a transformational tool and a means of social change to move towards the cities of the future.

Seventy years of history

UIA congresses have been held since 1948. The goal on each occasion is to address the challenges facing society through the rigorous knowledge contributed by professionals in architecture. The city held this same event a quarter of a century ago, in 1996. At that time the slogan was ‘Present and future: architecture in cities’, the event proving to be a great success with the public and having an international impact.


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