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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 get 530 new social housing flats

17/04/2016 - 13:48

Housing. City Council has started the process to turn seven plots of public land into 530 social housing flats and municipal facilities.

The municipal government is to modify the General Municipal Plan to give seven plots of public land over to social housing. The plots are in the districts of Sarrià – Sant Gervasi, Gràcia, Horta-Guinardó, Sant Martí and Sants-Montjuïc, and will be used for a total of 530 homes and public facilities.

The initiative is a municipal government measure to tackle the city’s housing emergency. The homes in the pipeline will be for specific collectives, such as young people, the elderly, and groups with justified support or emancipation needs. All the buildings must set aside space for public facilities, to be determined according to the needs of each area.

The plot in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district will be used to build 11 homes. Sites in the districts of Gràcia and Horta-Guinardó will be used to build 146 homes in each district, while the Sant Martí district will get 204. Finally, a building with 44 homes has also been added in C/ Alts Forns, in the Sants-Montjuïc district, which had initially been built as home for the elderly.

The choice of sites took into account whether they had a specific use set aside for them, whether they were immediately available, access, the level of development in the surrounding area and their proximity to facilities and services.

The move is based on the fact that plots of land set aside for social housing currently account for 2.46% of land earmarked for public facilities, while the law allows the figure to be elevated to 5%. The initiative follows the move announced four months ago to build a total of 1,145 homes in the next few years. The municipal government is committed to starting the construction of at least 4,000 homes before the current term of office concludes.

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