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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.​

‘Qüestions d’habitatge’, an exhibition promoting social housing among future architects

27/04/2016 - 20:55

Housing. The Barcelona School of Architecture and the Municipal Housing Trust have signed a collaborative agreement to promote projects in an academic context.

The Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) and the Municipal Housing Trust (PMHB) have signed a collaborative agreement to promote ongoing projects in an academic context. The exhibition ‘Qüestions d’habitatge’ [Housing questions] details ten projects being carried out in the city and five housing tenders in the Bon Pastor neighbourhood, all of them social housing projects.

In order to familiarise the academic world with the architecture of social housing currently being built in the city and at the same time generate debate, the ETSAB and City Council are organising an exhibition of different projects by the PMHB. The exhibition, inaugurated on 18 April, is on in the foyer of the Barcelona School of Architecture until the end of May.

The exhibition shows ten social housing projects currently under way in the city, as well as five projects tendered for social housing in the Bon Pastor neighbourhood. In the case of the latter, the work of the finalists and the winner is on display.

Along with the exhibition, on 27 April students at ETSAB were able to take part in talks and round table sessions explaining the projects and debates on the architectural aspects of the housing projects.

The need to boosting social housing

City Council policy calls for an essential boost for social housing in Barcelona. At present, protected housing accounts for just 1.5% of city homes, a very different figure to the 50% in Vienna and the 30% in cities such as Berlin and Paris. The PMHB manages 6,000 social homes and the aim is to progressively increase this figure.


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