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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.​

Full Council approves the Right to Housing Plan

27/01/2017 - 16:00

Urban planning. The plan stands up for the social function of housing and looks to guarantee the rights of citizens.

Full Council has approved the Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025 with votes from the municipal government, CiU and Ciutadans, while the ERC, PP and CUP groups all voted against it. The plan considers housing an asset of general interest and sets out a series of policies to guarantee its social function and protect the basic rights of citizens. To this end, the plan strengthens the right to housing and establishes the basis for the creation of a unified public housing service.

The Councillor for Housing, Josep Maria Montaner, explained that the plan represents a “change of paradigm for Barcelona’s housing policy”, as it forms a central part of municipal policy. “It’s a realistic and workable plan which creates a unified public housing service”.

Councillor Joaquim Forn, representing CiU, offered the support of his group and considered the plan “a great city agreement”, which has been designed with a long-term vision. The support of the group, according to Forn, will go hand in hand with “demanding” control, to ensure it is executed.

The Ciutadans group also voted in favour of the plan. Koldo Blanco stated that the plan has “the essence” of what Barcelona’s housing project should be like.

Representing the ERC group, Montserrat Benedí criticised the plan as “continuist” and “conformist”, arguing that “we need more public housing, and this plan falls short”.

The spokesman for the PP, Alberto Fernández Díaz, also withheld support for the plan as, according to his municipal group, “it lacks consistency”. Fernández Díaz also argued there is no established calendar for action and that the plan starts life “with low investment”.

Representing the CUP, Maria Rovira defended her group’s “no” at the full council session saying that the plan “lacks ambition”. Rovira added: “We don’t understand why bolder measures have not been taken. It lacks multiple perspectives and doesn’t reach the limit of its scope”.



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