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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 is gaining followers and interest among Barcelona's citizens

01/03/2023 - 10:03

Housing. Dozens of people have already visited the headquarters of Coòpolis (C. Constitució, 19) to enjoy the exhibition on cohousing in the city, including participants of a guided tour held last Tuesday, February 28.

Cohousing continues to gain momentum in Barcelona. This is demonstrated by the exhibition “Living in community in housing cooperatives in Barcelona”, which can be visited, free of charge, at the headquarters of Coòpolis (C. Constitució, 19, Bloc 8) from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 7 pm. This is a good opportunity to discover a booming model in the city through an exhibition that has already been visited by dozens of people since it is open to the public. 

These visitors include those who attended, last Tuesday, February 28, the guided tour of the exhibition, commissioned by the architects’ cooperative Lacol and the Barcelona City Council. Led by an architect member of the La Borda cooperative, the participants were able to learn more about the benefits of an alternative and eminently communitarian housing model.

Data, particularities of the model, values it promotes, participating cooperatives, and presentation of the different projects developed in the city are some of the contents of interest that can be found in the exhibition. In short, complete radiography of the expansion of cooperative housing in the transfer of use or cohousing in Barcelona, translates into 19 projects and more than 400 homes in coexistence or with available land. In fact, in the Catalan capital alone there are more housing cooperatives than in the rest of Catalonia (16).

Currently, cooperatives are developing wherever they find spaces of opportunity, taking into account that monthly payments are almost 40% lower than the average rent in the city, a difference that is accentuated in neighborhoods with higher incomes. The typology of transfer of use, moreover, is based on a non-speculative tenure model that has its inhabitants in the center, and that is not pigeonholed in either renting or buying.

Projects are driven by creativity, community management, and open, participatory design with the minimum possible ecological impact, some of which have been recognized in the form of awards. This is the case of the La Borda building, the first new cohousing building launched in the city, which has received several distinctions, such as the Ciutat de Barcelona 2018 award and the special prize for innovation at the European Responsible Housing Awards 2019, as well as the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2022.

Industrialised construction, another focus of interest

In parallel to cohousing, the Barcelona City Council also invites citizens to learn more about the industrialised construction drive in the city, which is reflected in the many developments that have been launched in recent years, that are currently under construction, or that will take place shortly. They can do so through the exhibition located on the first floor of the APROP housing in Glòries (C. Irena Sendler, 22), open to the public every Friday from 9 am to 2 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm. In this case, it is also free and does not require prior registration.