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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.​

‘Cohousing in Barcelona', the book that brings together the experiences of cooperatives in the city

26/01/2024 - 12:59

Housing. The book gathers completed cooperative housing projects in concessionary use and presents buildings currently under construction. It will be presented on 1 February at an event at the College of Architects of Catalonia, followed by a debate.

In addition to renting and buying, there are other ways to access housing, such as co-housing (or cooperative housing in concessionary use). Barcelona is one of the cities where this model has gained strength in recent years, with housing projects that have won recognition in national and international competitions.

Now, a book has been published that brings together the experiences of cooperatives working to promote a shift towards affordable, shared housing and away from speculation. The work is entitled ‘Cohousing in Barcelona’ and is edited by Marta Bugés, Ricard Devesa, David Lorente and Tomoko Sakamoto. It has been published by Barcelona City Council and Actar. It covers social housing projects in the city of Barcelona, both those already built and those under construction, explaining the process from all the perspectives involved: architecture, urban planning, financing, legality and sustainability.

Living in a cohousing building is synonymous with living in a community, sharing spaces, and so the book focuses on this aspect – an experience imbued with a cooperative spirit.

The Open Centre for Architecture and the Cooperativa Jordi Capell organised an event to launch the book with Joan Ramon Riera, Housing Councillor of the City of Barcelona, Tomoko Sakamoto, architect and co-editor, Marta Bugés, architect and co-editor, and the architects behind the built projects: Joan Barba for Princesa49; Ernest Garriga, a member of Lacol, for La Balma; César Vivas for La Chalmeta; Diego Carrillo, a member of Celobert, for Cirerers; and Lis Figueres, a member of La Mar de arquitectos, for La Xarxaire.

Each of them will present their projects, followed by a debate moderated by Ricardo Devesa, architect and one of the co-editors of the book.

The event will be held at the Auditorium of the College of Architects of Catalonia (Plaça Nova, 5) on Thursday 1 February at 18:30. To attend, you must register using this form (CAT).