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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 project of accessible housing for young people wins the Advanced Architecture Awards 2020

28/10/2020 - 11:08

Housing. The firm of Roldán Berengué Arquitectes designed the project which has received the award for the industrialised construction category

The firm of Roldán Berengué Arquitectes designed the project which has received the award for the industrialised construction category

The project of accessible housing for young people, built in the industrial warehouses of the Fabra i Coats facility in the district of Sant Andreu del Palomar, has been awarded the Advanced Architecture Awards 2020. These awards recognise the work of those professionals committed to innovation in the construction industry through the generation of new materials, the development of alternative products, the creation of new experiences for users, or the promotion of sustainable construction systems, among others. The prizes were awarded within the framework of REBUILD 2020, held between 29 September and 1 October 2020; an event where 260 sector experts shared innovative and ground-breaking construction projects and models.

Roldán Berengué Arquitectes designed the project to transform the Fabra i Coats thread storage warehouse into a social housing complex and facilities for the Jove de Barcelona colla castellera [human tower group] which has been awarded the AEDAS Homes Award for Industrialised Construction. It recognises that the intervention on the warehouse activates all the original elements and reuses its physical, spatial and historic qualities to make the new construction more efficient and reinforce the nature of the original building.

44 homes have been built at Can Fabra, with an average of 64 m2, aimed at young people between 18 and 35 years old, and with large communal areas they can share depending on their needs. Furthermore, its construction has followed sustainability criteria. It is the first public rental housing building that has been built inside an industrial warehouse and it has preserved the exterior structure of the factory, using a construction system inside the building that separates the interior structure from the exterior façades, making the most of the original structure. The interior structure is made almost entirely from wood, a material with a very low environmental impact, and all the materials used are recycled, recyclable, and with a low energy impact.

The Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation of Barcelona (IMHAB) is committed to industrialised techniques, such as those used as Can Fabra, in the public tender for public housing construction projects. These techniques allow for shorter work execution times and minimise the environmental impact of the construction materials.

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