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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.​

Limiting rented housing prices to protect the right to housing

29/09/2016 - 14:10

Housing. The Manager for Housing at Barcelona City Council, Javier Burón, explains the municipal housing policies and its challenges.


The latest studies show that rental prices in Barcelona have continued to rise, surpassing the record prices recorded during the property boom. Barcelona’s economic recovery and success as a tourist destination have caused a rise in prices; at the same time, greater inequality and the effects of the crisis remain a reality for many people. As a result, access to housing is becoming increasingly difficult.

To tackle this situation, the municipal government is stressing the need to control rented housing prices for some of the city’s houses, with the aim of guaranteeing the right to housing. For Javier Burón, the Manager for Housing at Barcelona City Council, the authority would need to control a third of houses to be able to moderate market prices.

“There has to be a limit to housing prices, to protect consumers and the market itself”, he explains in an interview with ElDiario.es, also pointing out that housing prices in other European capitals such as Berlin and Paris are controlled by legislation and cannot freely fluctuate.


The need for a large public housing stock

A jurist, consultant and former Deputy Minister for Housing in the Basque regional government, Burón has extensive experience in housing and recognises that the stock of public housing is limited: Barcelona currently has 10,000 flats with rental prices below market rates, not enough to satisfy the needs of the 280,000 households living in the city.

Given the situation, the municipal government has the intention of boosting the Municipal Housing Trust’s production capacity, from the current figure of 250-300 to as many as a thousand annually produced flats by 2018. According to Burón: “The challenge is to have a public housing service, third-sector associations and even a few professional and commercial ones as well, so we can coordinate a pool of 100,000 rented flats at prices below market rates”.

Looking ahead to the coming year, Barcelona City Council intends to create a benchmark index for rented-housing prices according to the home’s location, surface area, energy classification etc. This index would have no legal weight in determining housing prices, as that falls under the jurisdiction of the state, but it could be used to guide the market and prevent inflationary and speculative trends.

“[This index] alone is already moderating prices in many cities, as long as you’re able to put together a prestigious index that everyone knows”, insists Burón. The Manager for Housing adds that the next step would entail limiting rented housing prices depending on each neighbourhood’s social and economic conditions and features and the economic context of the time, both for new and renewed leases alike.


Action and prevention measures

Burón also highlights the initiative from the Unit Against Residential Exclusion (UCER), a team of professionals set up by City Council to detect eviction cases, put them on hold, negotiate with owners and reach a temporary or final re-housing solution, thus preventing anyone from being left homeless.

Other preventive measures include the ones currently being used for alleviating the effects of the housing crisis, such as financial aid for paying rent and mortgage instalments, which are aimed at preventing people from losing their homes. Burón admits that there are now more evictions than in the past, given the cumulative effects of the crisis, but that there would be many more without such aid.

The Manager for Housing explains that rental aid does not have to be limited exclusively to people at risk of social exclusion. “If we gradually get sufficient funds to turn such aid into a widespread policy, then we would be falling in line with the European Union, because its other member states have a large stock of non-profit public and private housing, though they also have stronger policies for direct rental aid”, he concludes.

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