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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.​

Positive feedback from users of the public housing stock

13/01/2017 - 16:21

Satisfaction survey. Citizens rate services offered by Barcelona City Council’s public housing stock highly.

The 2016 Satisfaction Survey conducted among users of the public housing stock offers very positive feedback: nearly seven out of ten people consider the services offered by public housing as very good or excellent. This housing is promoted and managed by the Municipal Housing Trust (PMHB).

Some 83.6% of those surveyed were satisfied with access services and the management of the housing stock by Barcelona City Council. Two services which scored particularly well are the service for renting or buying homes, which scored 7.2 points, and the service for managing parking spaces Aparcaquí, which scored 7.6.

Worth noting is the favourable response to the helpline and the User Help and Information Offices. A large number of people confirmed they had used both services and assessed them very positively. Aspects such as the opening times, waiting times, clarity of information given and friendliness of the staff scored between 7 and 8 points on average.

As regards administrative procedures, 84.5% of those surveyed found the information and documentation offered at Housing Offices to be suitable. Similarly, 85.1% considered the forms to be “easy or very easy” to fill in.

The satisfaction survey included the opinions of 773 users of PMHB services.


Profile of public housing stock users

With regard to users who have rented or purchased their home via the public stock, 70.1% consider that their home is highly suitable or fairly suitable for their needs. In the same vein, communications received by users scored 7.1 and payment processing scored 8.

Of those surveyed who have had access to a publicly-owned home, 84.3% are long-term users due to their financial and personal circumstances and use municipal housing services as they offer economic security and stability.

Some 26.7% of these people devote between 21% and 30% of their income to paying the rent, while 16.2% spend between 31% and 40%. Even so, nearly half of those asked (47.7%) consider that funding allocated for housing policies falls short. Only 17.8% of people considered the figure to be plenty.

Barcelona has 6,500 flats managed by the Municipal Housing Trust (making up part of the overall number of 11,000 affordable flats in the city). Some 25,000 families are currently on the Applicants Register for social housing provided by Barcelona City Council.


Helping with parking in Barcelona

Some 82.6% of those who use the Aparcaquí service consider it as very good or excellent. In this case, the percentage of people getting information via the website is slightly higher (37.9%) and the average score for available information and the processing of applications scored 6.8.

In the case of both telephone enquiries and online queries, the most common enquiries are information requests on renting parking spaces (27.9%) and procedures to formally apply for them (23%).

Asked whether the parking space received suited their needs, 90.4% replied positively. Even so, 46.6% stated that they would improve the service in some way, with the main issues being cleaning (24%) and lighting (21.3%).


Room for improvement

Only 10.1% of those surveyed scored the public housing stock overall as insufficient: the main reasons for negative feedback being dissatisfaction at the home allocated and general dissatisfaction with the service.

Some 55.2% of users felt there was room for the service to improve, particularly in terms of communications and follow-up by the PMHB (22.6%) and building maintenance (18.7%).

In contrast to services offered by telephone or in person, online services were not as well-received among users: only three out of ten have used the PMHB website, more often than not to look for general information on public housing (40.6% of cases).

Of online users, over half considered the site as very good or excellent. In contrast, negative feedback on the website referred to a lack of information and difficulty for users in finding what they were looking for.

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