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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 renovation grants to reactivate the economy and tackle the climate crisis

17/09/2020 - 10:42

Housing. The call provides 20.5 million euros for different areas to improve the condition of buildings and homes.

Besides making for more decent housing in the city, the new subsidies have been conceived to tackle the climate crisis and reactivate the local economy. This year’s subsidies are conditioned to the reduction of the demand for energy in buildings, the goal being to cut emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

The renovation grants for 2020 are expected to generate 4,600 jobs in all and move a total of 82 million euros in public and private investment in the context of the Covid-19 health crisis. In addition, the improvement to homes in the city will help cut emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, fostering the use of renewables such as solar and geothermic energy.

This year’s call for renovation grants consists of five areas of action and an investment of 20.5 million euros. The grants are expected to reach 6,573 flats and benefit over 16,000 people.

Common elements with energy efficiency

Subsidies of between 25% and 50% of the cost of renovation work in communal areas of the building (stairs, foyers, lifts, rooftops, walls, party walls, façades, skylights, yards and structural elements, as well as improvements in accessibility, sanitisation, utilities, the elimination of fibre-cement and the installation of solar energy). The grants are conditioned to energy efficiency in the buildings, with an estimated 20% reduction in energy demands expected in buildings.

Building interiors

Grants of up to €4,000 for work to improve comfort and habitability inside homes. The types of work include: painting, accessibility improvements, repairs to wood, damp treatment, paving and insulation, ventilation and renewal of air. This grant is expected to reach 750 flats.

Programme for highly complex buildings

This building renovation programme from the Neighbourhood Plan is for properties which for various socio-economic reasons have difficulty accessing ordinary renovation grants.

Renovation of flats for the rental housing pool

These grants of up to 20,000 euros are for improving private housing, renewing carpentry, conditioning installations, treating damp, improving access etc. In exchange, owners include the property in the Barcelona social rental housing pool at below-market rates. The goal is to attract around 125 extra flats for the rental pool.

Urban regeneration in Canyelles and to the south west of the Besòs

In the area to the south west of the Besòs and in the neighbourhood of Canyelles, in the district of Nou Barris, grants of up to 85% are available to owner-tenant communities to repair structural problems in buildings, mainly concrete fatigue.

Reduction of VAT to 4% for renovation work

Among the proposals in the Barcelona ten-point plan on the right to housing, promoted by some thirty social organisations, structural changes are sought to make energy renovation easier in buildings. A specific demand is for VAT for this work to be reduced to 4%.


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