Tanca Tanca

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 service to incentivise the renovation of homes and buildings

02/10/2020 - 12:53

Housing. A specialist unit is being set up to streamline the process for property renovations.

A new one-stop service comes into operation in October, offering people specialised support and streamlining the administrative process for the issue of permits. The goal is to promote property renovations and generate employment.

The City Council issued 1,088 new building or large renovation permits last year, 10.6% of which were for major renovation projects. Licences currently take an average of seven months to be issued. The new specialist unit is intended to halve the time needed for the issue of permits to renovate homes and buildings. To achieve this, there will be support for promotors during the application process, guaranteeing agile communication and follow-up throughout the process and making it easy to access contact people. The needs and demands of the sector will be taken into account throughout the process and proposals taken from the Architects’Association of Catalonia (COAC), the Barcelona Observatory for Architectural Restoration Association (OBRA) and other professional associations.

The service will initially handle applications for major works permits, provide advice and promote good practice. Later on, applications and advice for major renovation projects will start being handled.

Quality and energy efficiency for renovations

A catalogue of good practice will be compiled to ensure quality in renovation projects, taking into consideration materials, the state of buildings and energy efficiency criteria.

Opting for housing renovations

The renovation of existing flats and properties is fundamental as it allows for energy efficiency improvements in residential buildings, cuts emissions, preserves heritage and helps people to have decent housing and quality of life. Besides improving housing conditions in residential property in the city, the new call for renovation subsidies for building and housing is designed to tackle the climate crisis and reactivate the local economy.