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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.​

First APROP temporary homes in Ciutat Vella ready to tackle the housing emergency

16/12/2019 - 18:29

Twelve flats in the Gòtic neighbourhood, in Ciutat Vella.

The next few days will see the City Council allocate the twelve provisional homes located at C/ Nou de Sant Francesc, 8-10, in the Gòtic neighbourhood. The first families, registered with the Emergency Board, will be able to move in after the Christmas period and live there provisionally while they wait for definitive social housing. People on the register of applicants for officially protected housing in Barcelona will also be able to access APROP homes.

The block uses a modular structure made up of sixteen reconditioned shipping containers, pieced together to create a building with twelve flats: four two-bedroom flats with 60 square metres of floor space, and eight one-bedroom homes with 30 square metres of floor space. The project cost 940,000 euros.

The building was finished in four months, during which the stairs and the lift were installed, the new façade created and the outer shell added. The Gòtic primary healthcare centre will also be housed on the ground floor.

The pilot project for this alternative housing takes its inspiration from successful initiatives already working in cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Vancouver.

A more sustainable solution

The building was made using shipping containers, an innovative formula for constructing homes quicker and more sustainably. As these are modular industrialised buildings, APROP homes cut waste by 58% and the reuse of shipping containers represents a 32% reduction in CO2 emissions.

APROP homes have an AA energy rating, meaning their energy consumption is four to six times lower than that of a conventional building of the same characteristics.

Second project in Sant Martí

The building in the Gòtic neighbourhood is part of a pilot project currently being rolled out, with other blocks to follow in other city neighbourhoods. A second project will be put out to tender early in 2020, with the block to be built at C/ Bolívia, 33-41, in the neighbourhood of El Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou, in the district of Sant Martí. This second development will have 42 homes, 35 doubles and 7 singles, along with a communal laundry, neighbourhood facilities, an urban cultivation patch and a green rooftop.


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