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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 signs the surface right of a new housing project in Gràcia

12/10/2023 - 13:03

Housing. The project, located on Av. Vallcarca is managed by the Salas Foundation and the Nou Lloc Foundation and is part of the ESAL Agreement, which promotes cooperative housing in Barcelona.

The Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), signed, on October 10th, the deed of establishment of the surface right on a property located at Avinguda Vallcarca, 110, in the Vallcarca and els Penitents neighborhood of the city of Barcelona. The transfer of municipal land is part of the ESAL Agreement, which promotes cooperative housing in the city.

The project’s management will be handled by the Fundació Privada Salas per l’Accessibilitat and the Fundació Privada Nou Lloc Habitatge Social, established as a UTE, and with experience in other projects under the ESAL Agreement. The most recent project, consisting of 43 housing units located in Raval (Ciutat Vella), was signed last May.

The transfer of the land to both foundations will allow the development of promotion of publicly subsidized rental housing in the district of Gràcia, involving the rehabilitation and rental management of the respective housing units.

In practical terms, the signing, formalized at Barcelona City Hall, allows the awardee entity to enjoy the right to use the property for 99 years. 

Development of the ESAL Agreement

Signed in 2020 between the City Council and the main federations of cooperatives and social housing foundations, the ESAL Agreement is a pioneering mechanism for cooperation with the third sector, in which public land is assigned to non-profit organizations and the transfer of land. This promotes the construction and renovation of subsidized housing for rental and transfer of the right of use (cohousing) through the constitution of surface rights. This is a tool that boosts the growth of the public housing stock, while diversifying the range of agents involved. 

The Agreement is therefore 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).