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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 social housing project for young people wins the 2021 FAD Architecture Prize

16/07/2021 - 15:27

Housing. The jury highlighted the project’s sustainability and capacity for conserving the industrial heritage

The project of affordable homes for young people and the space of the Colla Castellera Jove de Barcelona constructed in the old Fabra i Coats industrial complex in the district of Sant Andreu del Palomar has been recognised at the 2021 FAD Architecture and Interior Design Prizes. The FAD Prizes are among Europe’s oldest and most prestigious in this sphere, and yesterday their 63th edition was held in the Auditorium of the Barcelona Disseny HUB. This year there were 21 finalist projects in the various categories, selected among the 368 works submitted to the competition.

In the 2021 edition, the FAD Prizes jury wanted to acknowledge projects capable of defining new scenarios for private and collective life, and reflected on the possibilities of construction materials and systems, paying particular attention to sustainability. For this reason, in all the categories prizes have been awarded to works of rehabilitation or reuse of existing spaces.

In regard to the project by Miguel Roldán and Mercè Berengué at Can Fabra, the focus was on its capacity of reconverting an old factory into social housing, rehabilitating and conserving the industrial heritage and not only creating individual homes but also vertebrating a collective space which creates a sense of community. The jury also emphasised how this operation, a pioneering work in our setting, has taken into account sustainability and integration with the surroundings, using wood in the structures, a material with a very low environmental impact which also becomes a thermal envelope for the building.

Another recognition for Can Fabra

With this prize, the Can Fabra development of affordable homes for young people receives one more recognition. In 2021 it has won the first prize for multi-family housing at the AIT-Award, and last year it received the Advanced Architecture Awards 2020 and the 2020 Mapei Prize. These awards have acknowledged the architectural, social and environmental aspects of an innovative project which aims to create affordable, quality housing while conserving the industrial heritage.

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