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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.​

Agreement to allocate 30% of all new homes as protected housing

19/09/2018 - 18:04

Housing. The measure was put forward by the city’s social network and should create 330 affordable flats every year.

The measure was promoted by organisations standing up for the right to dignified and adequate housing and sets aside 30% of all new-build homes and major renovations for affordable housing. The majority of municipal political groups support the initiative, meaning it should be approved at the next full council meeting on 28 September.

The representatives from municipal groups supporting the measure appeared alongside the spokespeople from the promoting group, made up of the Federation of Barcelona Residents’ Associations (FAVB), the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH), the Observatory of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (DESC), the Assembly of Neighbourhoods for Sustainable Tourism (ABTS) and the Tenants’ Union.

The initiative, which involves the private sector, will affect new buildings and major renovation projects of more than 600 square metres. Consequently, private property promoters are being made jointly responsible when it comes to guaranteeing dignified and adequate homes.

The setting aside of 30% represents an increase to the public housing stock, particularly in central neighbourhoods more prone to property speculation and gentrification and where the lack of land makes it difficult to build protected flats. The measure is accompanied by a declaration designating the whole city as an area where the City Council has right of first refusal. This gives the administration preferential purchase rights on plots of land and buildings, this 30% of protected homes included, in order to boost the pool of public housing.

The reserve of 30% is expected to mean 330 new affordable flats every year, a figure which should help combat abusive price hikes in rents, which make it more difficult to keep community ties intact.

The modification to the General Metropolitan Plan enabling the measure to be implemented is being debated today by the Commission for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, before being submitted for definitive approval by the full council. The majority of political groups have already shown their support and are expected to approve the initiative. Once the measure goes through it will then be submitted for definitive approval by the Sub-commission for Urban Planning in Barcelona.

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