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.​

The PAE service of the Barcelona City Council, nominated for the Eurocities Awards

12/06/2023 - 14:01

Housing. The Energy Advising Points, distributed in twelve offices throughout the city, provide knowledge to citizens on how to save energy, in addition to assisting them in difficult situations.

The Energy Advising Points (PAE) are one of the most requested and fastest-growing services of the Barcelona City Council in recent years. The main objectives of the PAE are to ensure that residents can exercise their energy rights and improve the energy efficiency of their homes, promote employment among those who are unemployed and facing greater difficulties, and act within communities to enable residents to help each other. In short, they aim to provide knowledge on how to save energy and empower citizens.

The combination of these actions has resulted in thousands of people being served in the past six years, making this service one of the most utilized in the city. For this reason, among others, the Barcelona City Council has become a finalist for the Eurocities Awards 2023, the winner of which will be announced at the Urban Summit in Brussels in June.

The Eurocities Awards are prestigious honors given by this network of interconnected major European cities, which annually recognize initiatives driven by municipal entities that contribute to improving the quality of life for their citizens.

A service to empower citizens

With 12 offices spread across the city’s ten districts, the PAE (Energy Advising Points) assist all families who wish to receive general advice on how to reduce their energy bills or schedule an appointment to better understand their bill and explore ways to reduce it. 

In many cases, however, the situation is more serious: around 90% of the families who visit their local PAE office struggle to pay their energy bills, to the point that some are close to experiencing a power cut or have already gone through it. This is when the 27 energy advisors who make up the service come into play.

The positive effects of the initiative have led to efforts to expand the service with more PAE offices and to promote responsible energy consumption from early childhood, through a collaboration with the municipal program ‘Sustainable Schools’.