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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.​

Public competitions for 300 new homes at affordable prices

22/10/2017 - 12:08

Housing. The tendering process for the four plots of land open up a new municipal model for the construction of affordable housing for purchase or for rent.

Two tendering processes are to be offered for a total of four plots of land to be used for the construction of nearly three hundred protected homes. Two of the sites will be awarded to housing cooperatives through surface rights, while the other two will go to non-profit organisations to create affordable rented homes.

The simultaneous tendering processes represent the implementation of a new municipal model for awarding sites to entities and cooperatives which until now collaborated with the City Council via covenants. According to the Councillor for Housing, Josep Maria Montaner, the public competitions imply two major changes compared to previous processes, one of them being open competition. “Covenants were created directly before, but now we consider it’s important they come via a tendering process, due to questions of transparency and their being public buildings”, noted Montaner.

The other change relates to the ownership of the land, which will remain publicly owned in the future. “One of the premises of this City Council is that publicly-owned land must always remain so, because in the past ownership was passed onto to these foundations and cooperatives”, noted the councillor.


In the case of sites for cooperatives, what are being sold to the cooperative are the surface rights for a period of 75 years, with an option to extend that period to 90 years. That means the cooperative has the rights over what is built on the land but that the land remains municipally-owned. The sites being offered out to tender are in Av. Estatut de Catalunya, in the district of Horta-Guinardó, and C/Aiguablava, in the district of Nou Barris. In all, 161 homes are expected to be built with this system and different regulations will ensure their social and public use.

Foundations and non-profit organisations

Foundations and non-profit organisations in with a chance of managing one of the other sites (Av. Escolapi Càncer, in Nou Barris, and C/ Bolívia, in Sant Martí) should offer limited rent prices equivalent to or less than the prices set out by law for protected homes (7.28 euros per square metres). These homes will be awarded to people on the waiting list in Barcelona. A total of 115 homes are due to be built with these characteristics, all of them for rent.

Diversification of models

The two new public competitions complete the range of different formulas set out in the Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025 and, according to Montaner, clearly show the municipal preference for diversification. “We can’t waste any opportunity and we have to innovate with new ways of multiplying affordable housing in Barcelona”, he declared.

This diversification is shown not just via the current tendering processes for cooperatives and foundations, but also via the various existing models: the direct promotion of public housing, driven by the Municipal Housing and Renovation Institute (currently the Municipal Housing Trust), the promotion of cohousing (with five cooperative projects tendered and under way at five sites), and the promotion of housing using a mixed public and private operator, to be constituted in the next few months.


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