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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.​

Progress of the works on the first “Illa Eficient” building

10/05/2022 - 08:09

Housing. This is the first of a 22-building complex that form the block between Gran Via and the streets Carrer Viladomat, Carrer Diputació and Carrer Calàbria. The objective is to carry out a comprehensive and energy renovation of the flats.

Over 700 residents of Eixample will reduce the energy consumption of their homes by 30% thanks to Illa Eficient (Efficient Block) a public-private initiative arising from the Hábitat Futura Group, the Government of Catalonia and with the collaboration of Barcelona City Council to promote a new model of sustainable renovation and building in the city.

The first community to form part of this project will be that of the block between Gran Via and the streets Carrer Viladomat, Carrer Diputació and Carrer Calàbria. In total, the works will cover a total of 22 buildings and 390 homes. The renovation works in one of the buildings began months ago. The block in question has 12 properties and is on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 469. It is a highly complex building with a high level of cultural heritage protection to which solutions are being applied for the structural and maintenance deficiencies, incorporating energy efficiency and sustainability measures. This has been verified during a visit to the works by the Director of the Hábitat Futura Group and the developer of the Illa Eficient project, Cèlia Galera; the Doctor of Architecture from the UPC and Manager of Sustainability of Illa Eficient, Antoni Fontseca; and the Councillor for Housing, Lucía Martín.

“Unlike what has happened in other European countries, for many years in Spain, a large amount of resources have been allocated to construction and new builds, while renovation policies have been completely relegated to second place. Today we have housing stock that is totally inefficient in energy terms and not very comfortable for residents”, explains Lucía Martín.

The objective is to carry out a comprehensive and energy renovation, respecting the heritage value of the block, which dates back to the beginning of the 1900s. In this regard, the doors, windows and ceilings will be reinforced with resistant materials to improve the thermal insulation and protect the flats from the heat in summer and the cold in winter. Other actions will also be carried out such as the installation of community aerothermal heating and photovoltaic panels to produce energy to light the stairwell and power the lift, some actions that will enable it to be more efficient and reduce the energy costs for the community. The objective is that the electricity consumption costs of the community of residents are covered 100% and the surplus generated could reduce the bills of the individual residents.

“It is a challenge to find a balance between the maintenance of our historic and cultural heritage with that of energy transition”, explains Cèlia Galera.


A pioneer project

Illa Eficient is designed as an initiative to make investment by property owners more convenient. Each property has different problems, and the degree of economic investment varies because the actions carried out to improve efficiency are different in each case.

In the specific case of the property at Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 469, the residents of the block have formed a cooperative to obtain fiscal benefits, pay less taxes and have more security. The total cost of the renovation works is 1 million euros. The owners have paid half of the cost of the works, and the other half has been subsidised by the administration. Furthermore, the European Next Generation funds will provide continuity to this line of renovation with the focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

This action carried out on the block located between Gran Via and the streets Carrer Viladomat, Carrer Calàbria and Carrer Diputació will not be an isolated case. There are plans to extend it to other blocks in the city with similar characteristics and that require an energy renovation project.