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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 data on housing in Barcelona

27/02/2018 - 19:01

Housing. A comprehensive new interactive online tool on the housing stock in the metropolitan area.

What percentage of homes are rented in my neighbourhood? What’s the average age of buildings? How many empty homes belong to multiple property owners? As many as 67 indicators are now available for the general public to consult via the Barcelona Housing Observatory (OHB) website.

The Barcelona Housing Observatory, backed by the City Council and also formed by the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB), Barcelona Provincial Council and the Government of Catalonia, offers the first benefits of making the city’s housing situation more transparent in order in to improve housing policy.

The new OHB website is an interactive tool, aimed at technical staff, administrations and the general public, and offers a comprehensive and historical vision of the housing stock in Barcelona and its environs. Using a data display, maps of the local area, details on city districts and neighbourhoods, the tool is available for anyone to use, from the general public to specialists, professionals and the administration itself.

Data display

The interactive platform includes a display with 63 indicators, grouped together using the following themes:

  • Housing stock.
  • Construction and renovation.
  • Socio-demographic and socio-economic factors.
  • Housing market.
  • Housing continuity, access and maintenance issues.
  • Housing policies.
  • Territory.

The indicators included in these themes allow users to consult the following and more:

  • Percentage of habitual residences.
  • Buildings in poor repair.
  • Floor area per person.
  • Empty homes belonging to owners of multiple properties.
  • Homes built before 1981.
  • Energy certification.
  • Prices and proportion of tenants.
  • Types of owner.
  • Differences in rent.
  • Evictions.
  • Homes without central heating.
  • Households with single parents, elderly people living alone and long-term unemployed.

Public policies

The Barcelona Housing Observatory aims to act as a meeting place for local housing policies, a mechanism to help local corporations define and develop their local government measures.

This volume of data, along with the structure and classification of the new OHB tool, will enable municipal governments to fine tune their analyses of the challenges in their municipalities. Cities will be able to share major challenges and important solutions will be needed which go beyond municipal powers, such as a reform to the law on urban rents, setting out longer rental periods and controls on price rises. The OHB can also be of use in showing differences between cities, districts and neighbourhoods.

In a similar vein, Barcelona City Council is backing measures such as the Metropolitan Housing Operator in conjunction with the AMB, and the APROP provisional housing initiative to combat gentrification.

OHB report

At an aggregate level, OHB data show that between 2014 and 2017 rent prices went up between 24% and 28% in the area metropolitan area, depending on the area. According to the Incasol register the average rent is 900 euros a month, while the most common price published by property websites is 1,300 euros a month. The substantial difference between the two figures can be read as an index for the rental market ceiling.

Either way, 42% of the metropolitan population spends 40% of their income on housing, a figure which exceeds the third which is recommended. The difficulty of accessing and maintaining housing has meant a drop in the emancipation of young people. Today, 27% less young people between the ages of 16 and 29 leave their parents’ home than ten years ago.

The final consequence of the difficulties in the housing market are evictions. Although there has been a slight drop since 2016, the last four years have seen 41,782 cases, affecting 125,000 people.


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