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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 development, recognised for its proposal of rehabilitation and sustainability

12/11/2021 - 10:58

Housing. The social housing project was awarded the FAD Architecture Prize for its capacity of preserving the industrial heritage and committing to sustainability.

From today, the social homes of Can Fabra bear a plaque that distinguishes this project with the 2021 FAD Architecture Prize. The plaque was unveiled this Thursday in a ceremony held in the same Can Fabra buildings with the participation of Mercè Berengué, one of the leaders of the project designed by Roldán Berengué Arquitectes, along with representatives of the board and jury of the FAD and a number of architects.

The ceremony highlighted the importance of this recognition, which manifests the added value of rehabilitating a building, committing to sustainability and maintaining the historical heritage of the space, located in the old industrial premises of the Fabra i Coats complex. “Combining rehabilitation and recovery of the heritage is a model of maximum sustainability. We have only had to build up 46% of the surface area: the rest, 54%, is rehabilitated space. Rehabilitation is the most sustainable operation and generates a greater sensation of belonging than new construction. The people who live here are aware that it is a historic building, and this adds one more value to it”, Mercè Berengué declared.

During the ceremony, a visit was made to the installations and an explanation was given of the design process, which includes 46 homes with an average floor area of 64 m2, assigned to young people aged 18 to 35. A façade 90% open to the exterior, the use of wood and the commitment to a sustainable environment, using the aerothermal system, solar protection and cross-ventilation, are some of the characteristics of these homes promoted by the Barcelona Municipal Housing and Rehabilitation Institute. Another notable feature is the versatility of the spaces, since although the homes are of 64 m2, their residents can enjoy a total of 200 m2 of communal spaces. The project is completed with a space for the Colla Castellera Jove [Young Human Towers Group] of Barcelona.

A distinguished project

The FAD Architecture and Interior Design Prizes, usually known as the FAD Prizes, are among Europe’s oldest and most prestigious awards in the field of architecture, interior design and cities and landscape.

The Can Fabra project, which has won this prize in its latest edition, was recognised for its capacity of converting an old factory into social housing, rehabilitating and preserving the industrial heritage, and not only creating individual homes but also vertebrating a collective space that creates community. Another highlighted feature of the project is its commitment to sustainability and integration with its surroundings, using wood in its structures, a material with a very low environmental impact that also forms a thermal envelope for the building. “Technical coherence and climatic attention complete a serious project that weaves a coherent reflection on the past, the present and the future of the city”, the jury declared.

“These prizes mark out the lines to be followed and are a model of communication for seeing how the approved projects have evolved, measuring them and giving them value. Barcelona is a model of architecture and we have to maintain these prizes”, Berengué added.

Apart from the 2021 FAD Architecture Prize, this year Can Fabra has also won the 2020 AVS Prize for the Best New Construction and the first prize for multi-family housing at the AIT Awards. In addition, last year it received the 2020 Advanced Architecture Awards and the 2020 Mapei Prize.

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