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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.​

The Can Fabra building for young people wins the first prize for multi-family housing of the AIT-Awards

12/02/2021 - 12:56

Housing. The jury highlighted the reinvention of the industrial space and the sustainability of the homes

The affordable housing project for young people promoted by the IMHAB in the industrial enclosure of Can Fabra, in the Sant Andreu del Palomar district, has won the first prize in the category of multi-family housing of the AIT-Awards. These Awards, which have been conferred since 2012, are among the most important prizes in the world of architecture and interior design. This year, 877 projects were presented from 47 countries. Finally, 83 projects were recognised in 14 categories which include single- and multi-family housing, hotels, healthcare or cultural buildings or participatory architecture, among others.

Can Fabra won the first prize in the category of multi-family housing. The complex contains 44 homes for young people aged 18 to 35, with an average floor area of 64 square metres and large common spaces that can be shared according to requirements. It is Barcelona’s first public housing building constructed in an industrial complex while maintaining its exterior structure. The construction process also took the matter of sustainability into account, using recycled, recyclable and low energy impact materials.

These are the two aspects that the jury highlighted of the project, designed by the Roldán Berengué Arquitectes firm, transforming an old warehouse from the year 1905 into a housing complex. The jury pointed out that it is a project “which interprets the spatial qualities of an industrial building with a tremendously contemporary sensibility”. It also accentuated the sustainability of apartments produced with a construction system inside the building that creates a thermal envelope signifying a key energy-saving concept.

This is the fourth prize won by the Can Fabra architectural project. In recent months it has won the Hispalyt Prize as the best multi-family housing project, the Mapei Sustainable Architecture Prize and the Advanced Architecture Awards.

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