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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.​

The Next Generation Fund, a key opportunity to encourage renovation and energy efficiency gains

01/03/2024 - 14:26

Housing. European funding is helping to make homes more energy efficient, bringing benefits such as lower bills and a more comfortable home.

Barcelona City Council wants to continue promoting the renovation of homes, buildings and neighbourhoods to improve their energy efficiency, especially in the current climate crisis situation. To achieve this, citizens have the help of the EU’s Next Generation Fund at their disposal, a very good opportunity to carry out work that has been delayed due to a lack of money.

In order to raise awareness of the importance of European funds in the field of housing renovation, the Col·legi de l’Arquitectura Tècnica de Barcelona (Cateb) organised the Technical Conference Rehabilita, which took place on the 23rd and 29th of February at its headquarters and at the headquarters of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya in Barcelona.

The aim of the first day was to explain the importance of the European Union’s Next Generation Fund in promoting the renovation of buildings in the city to improve energy efficiency. It was attended by Anna M. Font i Morera, architect and director of the European Funds Programme for Rehabilitation and Regeneration of the Municipal Institute of Housing and Rehabilitation of Barcelona (IMHAB). Font has called for the creation of “stable rehabilitation plans that respect the time of the neighbours”, which include “conservation problems and accessibility needs”.

On the other hand, one of the round tables on the second day focused on what measures are being taken in Catalonia to promote renovation. The debate was attended by Ana Rigalt Benito, director of the IMHAB Renovation Promotion Department, who explained that renovation is a priority axis for the Barcelona City Council and that it is part of an action plan to deal with the climate emergency. In this sense, he stressed that the city has a great goal in terms of renovation: “We have to renovate much more and with much higher energy requirements”. And he explained that in order to achieve this goal, services have been adapted, teams reduced in size, IT tools improved and public-private cooperation increased.

The Technical Conference was also used to present the study ‘Analysis and proposals for optimising the Next Generation aid programme for residential refurbishment’, commissioned by Barcelona City Council and carried out by Ramon Muñoz Jordán, an architect and expert in renovation. In addition, other round tables discussed new business models and presented examples of best practice in other Spanish cities.

The impact of a house that is not very energy efficient

Barcelona’s housing stock is ageing, as can be seen from the data in the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory’s (O-HB) report entitled ‘Strategies and renovation potential. Physical state and potential for improvement of Barcelona’s housing stock’ ****. The work concludes that 87% of the city’s buildings were built before 1980 and are therefore not covered by the first energy efficiency regulations approved in the country in that year. Furthermore, according to the results of the simulation carried out for the study, 81% of all dwellings in Barcelona would have an energy rating of E or lower.

The report also points out that only 10% of homes have undergone “major renovation reforms” in the period 2008-2019, and focuses on the economic consequences that living in a poor energy-efficient home can have for families: maintaining an adequate temperature in the home costs an average of €196 per month in multi-family homes, a figure that rises to €399 per month in single-family homes. Similarly, 25% of households spend 10% of their income on electricity bills, putting them at risk of fuel poverty.

More efficient homes with Next Generation funds

The funding is divided into four lines of assistance:

  • Building renovation.
  • Housing renovation.
  • Renovation of the neighbourhood.
  • Preparation of the book of buildings and projects.

To apply for any of these grants, you must be the owner of the house.

If you are interested, you will find all the necessary information on the Council’s website ‘To renovate is to save’**.

You can also contact the Municipal Renovation Office (ORM) for advice, management and assistance in applying for these grants.