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.​

Boost to public rental housing a key factor in maintaining the rhythm of construction in the city

12/10/2021 - 11:49

Housing. The report also shows the growth in the proportion of local people living in rented properties.

The economic crisis resulting from the pandemic led to a 23% drop in the construction of housing in the metropolitan area in 2020, except in the city itself, where the rhythm was maintained thanks to a 108% increase in protected housing.

According to the annual analysis of the housing sector by the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory (O-HB), work is currently under way or about to start on 2,300 homes. Most of these (80%) are to be offered with affordable social rents, while the rest will adopt various other formulas such as leaseholds, thus ensuring public ownership and preventing their sale or privatisation in the future, in line with the strategy to increase and consolidate the public housing stock.

This strategy is in keeping with the trend of ownership of housing, as during the period from 2018 to 2019 some 38.4% of homes in the city were rental properties (compared to 28.5% in 2001). In the rest in the metropolitan area the figure was 23.4% (compared to 12% in 2001). In addition, the number of homes with mortgages has also dropped: 16.7% in Barcelona (compared to 17.7% in 2016), and 25.5% in the metropolitan area (compared to 28.4% in 2016).

Incomes and the cost of housing

At the same time, the difference between people’s spending power and the price of rents continues to grow. While the incomes of Barcelona’s population dropped considerably in 2020 due to the pandemic (around 14%), the cost of rents only dropped slightly (1.4%). Similarly, the economic effort required from tenants in rented homes is very high. While in Barcelona and the metropolitan area households need to devote 40.5% of their overall income to pay the rent, the average in the Spanish state is 32.1%, a figure which drops to 24.9% in the European Union.

The report also addresses the housing emergency through the results from tools available to administrations to ensure the right to decent housing for people who, despite negotiating with property owners, have had to leave their home and are in socially vulnerable situations. In this respect, since its creation in 2016, the city’s Anti-Evictions Unit has provided mediation in over 10,000 eviction cases, managing to avoid 77% of evictions of vulnerable families thanks to mediation, suspensions or extensions.