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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.​

Barcelona City Council donates three buildings for renovation and social rental

20/03/2024 - 13:50

Housing. The UTE Llar Barceloneta and the Fundació Hàbitat3 will be responsible for three renovation projects in the Barceloneta and Horta neighbourhoods, which will increase the number of social housing units.

Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute for Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), is continuing to expand the housing stock that it promotes in partnership with social organisations. This Tuesday, 19th March, the signing of two contracts for the transfer of surface rights was formalised in favour of the UTE Llar Barceloneta and the Fundació Hàbitat3, in order to transfer to them three buildings, one in the Barceloneta neighbourhood and two in the Horta neighbourhood, which will be used for social rental.

The entities will have to renovate the three buildings and then dedicate them to social rental housing. These projects will provide 52 homes for families in need.

Renovation of 14 houses in Barceloneta

The UTE Llar Barceloneta (formed by the SALAS Foundation and the Hábitat3 Foundation) will be responsible for the renovation and management of the officially listed block of flats at passeig de Joan de Borbó, 44-45, in the Barceloneta neighbourhood.

Currently, the building consists of 13 flats and a shop, but after the renovation there will be 18. Part of the houses, 25%, will be for people at risk of housing exclusion and the rest will be for people seeking sheltered housing.

The duration of the surface right is 99 years from the date of the deed and the designated foundations undertake to complete the works within two years from the date of the change of name of the building licence.

Mont-ral, Letamendi and Casa Gran

The other buildings for which the City Council has transferred the surface rights are located on Mont-ral Street, 39-41, and Letamendi Street, 99-101. Two of these will be renovated. The current 38 flats already house families in vulnerable situations who will continue to live in the building once it is renovated. The third building will be demolished.

Once this first phase of work has been completed, a building (Casa Gran) will be built on the same site. It will be about 600m² and will have 12 rooms with bathroom and common areas on each floor (kitchen and living room) and a common area on the ground floor. This new building will be used for women in vulnerable situations.

Development of the ESAL Agreement

These projects are part of the ESAL Agreement, signed in 2020 by Barcelona City Council and the main associations of social housing cooperatives and foundations. The agreement was born as a pioneering mechanism for cooperation with the third sector, through the allocation of public land to non-profit organisations and the transfer of land.

This makes it possible to promote the construction and renovation of public housing for rent and the transfer of the right of use (co-housing) through the creation of surface rights. It is a tool that promotes the growth of the public housing stock while diversifying the range of actors involved.

The ESAL agreement is an alliance between the Barcelona City Council and the Federació de Cooperatives d’Habitatges de Catalunya (FCHC), the Coordinadora de Fundacions d’Habitatge Social (Cohabitac), the Associació Xarxa d’Economia Solidària (XES) and the Associació de Gestors de Polítiques Socials d’Habitatge de Catalunya (GHS).

The projects submitted must comply with the following criteria:

  • Speed and industrialisation of processing and construction or renovation of housing.
  • Technical and economic capacity to guarantee execution of the work.
  • Protected rental prices and right of use fees.
  • Avoidance of projects all being given to a few developers.
  • Climate emergency criteria.
  • Fostering of community ties.