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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 European program URBANEW calls for the participation of local stakeholders to move towards the decarbonization of cities

04/03/2024 - 18:08

Housing. Barcelona is one of the cities selected for the pilot project, which is in an initial phase of seeking innovative and low-carbon building rehabilitation solutions.

Cities play a crucial role in addressing the climate emergency. They are spaces from which to generate innovative and transformative solutions to the global situation.

The central role of cities in the urgently needed decarbonization process is reflected in data provided by the website Netzerocities.eu. According to the website, cities consume more than 65% of global energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. They also occupy only 4% of the land area of the European Union (EU) but host 75% of EU citizens.

In this context, Barcelona and six other Spanish cities were selected in 2022 to be part of the ‘European Mission 100 Smart and Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030’, a project promoted by the European Commission aimed at coordinating efforts to gather the necessary resources to address the continent’s major challenges.

As part of this mission, the Catalan capital and the other selected cities in Spain are deploying the URBANEW pilot program, which involves multiple actors to promote systemic transformation and the search for innovative solutions to urban regeneration and rehabilitation, reducing carbon footprint, and making buildings more energy efficient.

A form to propose innovative solutions in building rehabilitation

In Barcelona, the project is led by the Municipal Institute of Housing and Rehabilitation of Barcelona (IMHAB), the 2030 Agenda area of the Barcelona City Council, and the municipal foundation BIT Habitat, and aims to deepen the study of a public-private collaboration model for the purchase and rehabilitation of buildings to convert them into affordable housing.

The central tasks of the URBANEW program are the identification of innovative and low-carbon building rehabilitation solutions, the design of a public-private collaboration model for purchase and rehabilitation, as well as the study of the economic viability of the proposals.

Currently, the program is in an initial phase, calling for the active participation of local stakeholders involved in regeneration. Therefore, a form has been made available to them where they can propose innovative and low-carbon building rehabilitation solutions. All proposals will be included in a catalog published in 2024.

Therefore, all actors in the building renovation ecosystem have the opportunity to contribute their innovative solutions to the catalog.

The most outstanding solutions will be presented at the URBANEW Conference

These solutions, focused on multi-family buildings between party walls and without the possibility of growth in façade or elevation, can impact various aspects such as energy savings and efficiency, circular economy and embedded carbon, adaptation and reduction of climate risk, health and comfort, as well as biodiversity and nature-based solutions, among others.

The best solutions will be presented within the framework of the ‘URBANEW. Innovating in Building Rehabilitation for Decarbonization’ conference, which will take place on April 10th and will bring together all the actors of the program. The event has been conceived as a technical conference to debate how innovation can be the driving force for promoting decarbonized rehabilitation of residential buildings.

As for the rest of the proposals, they will be selected to be part of the solutions catalog, which will serve as a technical consultation tool for the adoption of measures in favor of decarbonizing rehabilitation.

Objective: moving towards the decarbonization of urban environments

Based on the activities and mobilizations generated within the framework of the URBANEW program, in progress until June 2025, a comprehensive diagnosis is expected to be developed to better understand the barriers and levers to decarbonize the built environment and integrate renewable energies.

Along with Barcelona, the six Spanish cities deploying the program are Vitoria, Zaragoza, Seville, Madrid, Valencia, and Valladolid. All of them are mobilizing their local agents and carrying out joint actions in order to promote energy rehabilitation and the replacement of construction materials, fostering the use of local raw materials with a low carbon footprint and the deployment of renewable energies under self-consumption models and energy communities.

Later on, the program’s activities will be simultaneously tested in the seven cities, in different climatic and socioeconomic contexts. The lessons learned will be translated into the diagnosis, an instrument to advance in the decarbonization of urban environments.

All this is a further step in the efforts and leadership of cities to address climate change, an unprecedented challenge facing our societies and calling on all of us.