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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.​

City Council starts work on the rental price index

25/01/2017 - 12:45

Price index. Barcelona City Council meets with representatives of the rental sector, professionals and members of the civil society to define a rental price index that will make it possible for the market to grow at a reasonable rate.




Barcelona City Council has started work on the creation of a rental price index for the city. The index  must act as a reference for the evolution of property prices and prevent price increases within the market, a trend that hampers the efforts of many families to access decent housing at an affordable price in the city.

The city government has met with the main representatives of the rental sector, both from business and professional fields, as well as  representatives of the civil society to debate the features of the new index.

The index must not be drawn up solely by the local authorities”, asserted the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau. She added: “The index must involve all parties, who can contribute by providing data and can also collaborate with the  survey of vacant properties”.

Thus, social organisations, digital platforms and professional associations will also form part of the the Technical Committee at the Metropolitan Housing Observatory, the organism tasked with creating the price index for the metropolitan area. The goal is to ensure maximum participation of stakeholders involved in public housing policies and the private housing market.


Housing, a priority for the city government

The Mayor- of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has reasserted that the City Council considers housing policy as a maximum priority. “We are striving and sparing no effort to create our own  pool of housing and we are willing to do anything necessary to make it happen”, asserted Colau.

Amongst the initiatives implemented by Barcelona City Council, aid for paying rent has been doubled and legal protection and payment guarantee measures have been boosted, as have housing renovation subsidies  for small-scale owners who include their properties in the pool of rental properties in Barcelona.

“Despite sparing no effort, the specific circumstances in Barcelona have forced us to look further afield and consider measures like those taken in Berlin or Paris”. These cities already have price guidelines based on pre-defined reference indexes.

The aim is therefore to establish an indicator that takes into consideration the location and size of properties, state of repair and previous rental agreements.

“An indicator that makes it possible to guide price increases without preventing prices from growing at a reasonable and balanced rate”, explains Javier Burón, Housing Manager at Barcelona City Council.


A commitment by all

Meanwhile, the Councillor for Housing, Josep Maria Montaner, has emphasised the need for a sector-wide agreement and commitment in terms of housing quality.

Colau met with representatives from Habitaclia, Airbnb, Yaencontre, Idealista, the Catalan Housing Development Association, the Senior Council of the College of Architects of Spain, the Catalan Round Table of Third Social Sector Organisations, the Catalan Association of Architects, the College of Licensed Property Administrators of Barcelona and Lleida, the Catalan Social Housing Managers and members of API.

Also in attendance at the meeting were a representative from the Area of Social Rights, Laia Ortiz, the Councillor for Housing, Josep Maria Montaner, the Housing Manager, Javier Burón, the manager of the Municipal Housing Trust of Barcelona, Àngels Mira and representatives of Barcelona Regional, and the Metropolitan Housing Observatory.

All attendees at the gathering agreed that joint efforts are needed to reverse the current tension between rental prices and salaries, which represents a risk of permanent residents being driven out by temporary visitors to the city.

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