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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.​

New flats for young people in Can Fabra as the public housing stock grows

09/12/2019 - 19:31

Housing. The building has 46 flats, 41 of which are for young people between the ages of 18 and 35, and 5 of which are for artists working at creation factories.

The new block in the neighbourhood of Sant Andreu de Palomar consists of 46 homes and is the first development to be aimed specifically at young people in more than a decade. The housing project made use of one of the old industrial buildings in the Fabra i Coats complex, keeping the original structure from the early 20th century and using sustainable construction techniques.

The keys to the flats for young people between the ages of 18 and 35 were handed over today, enabling them to access the building in the Fabra i Coats factory in the neighbourhood of Sant Andreu de Palomar. Five homes were also made available to the Barcelona Institute of Culture (ICUB), which will use them for residential stays by artists working at creation factories and visiting on an exchange basis. The block cost 6.3 million euros plus VAT.

The building has 44 two-bedroom flats and 2 one-bedroom adapted flats, all with an average floor space of 64 square metres. The new building features large communal spaces which the young residents can share according to their needs. The use of these spaces will be decided on via a participatory process conducted by the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), beginning at the start of 2020.

Sustainable construction

The block was built according to sustainability criteria. It is the first public rental housing block to be constructed inside an industrial building, with the outer structure of the factory having been conserved. The block was constructed as a building within a building, the outer shell being separate to the inner structure and the capacity of the original structure being exploited a hundred per cent.

The interior structure is made almost entirely of wood, with a low environmental impact. All the materials used are recycled or recyclable, representing low energy costs.

All the flats also have grade-A energy certificates thanks to a high-efficiency aerothermal system, solar protection and cross ventilation.

Space for the Colla Castellera Jove de Barcelona

The human towers group Colla Castellera Jove de Barcelona will also have their own training space in the building, in a large central section of roughly 10 metres by 10 metres and a ceiling height of 9 metres.


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