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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 Metropolitan Housing Observatory promotes a survey to analyse how Covid-19 affects the housing sector with the support of the City Council

06/05/2020 - 18:02

Habitatge. The survey has the collaboration of the Architects’ Association of Catalonia and the support of the housing areas of the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), the Barcelona Provincial Council and the Government of Catalonia

The Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory (O-HB), in collaboration with the Agrupació Arquitectura i Sostenibilitat (AUS, Architecture and Sustainability Group) of the Architects’ Association of Catalonia, and the support of the housing areas of the Barcelona City Council , the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), the Barcelona Provincial Council and the Government of Catalonia, has launched a survey with the aim of knowing in detail the impact of Covid-19 on the housing sector.

At a moment when confinement obliges us to spend much more time at home than usual, the O-HB’s “Inhabitants in confinement” survey seeks to know what changes have occurred in the use patterns of homes and their inhabitability conditions. The survey also asks about the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis and the difficulties it can cause when facing the payment of rent and mortgages, among other aspects. All citizens aged between 14 and 99 can answer the survey by clicking on the following link.

The O-HB, which forms part of the Barcelona Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies, is currently working on the extraction and analysis of data on housing, overload, rent and ownership, which, along with this survey, serves to provide support for the design of public policies and actions from the public and private sectors in response to the effects of Covid-19.

Extraordinary measures to tackle Covid-19 in the housing sphere

The sanitary crisis caused by Covid-19 is having and will continue to have substantial consequences at the economic and social levels. Accordingly, a number of institutions have approved measures to assist all those families who may see their incomes reduced and therefore have difficulties in paying their rent or mortgage instalments.

On April 6 this year, Barcelona City Council issued a Mayoral Decree providing for a moratorium until August for everyone who lives in a home of the public housing stock. The State Government has issued two decrees, Royal Decree-Law 8/2020 and Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, which establish measures both for people living in rental homes and for homeowners with a mortgage or non- mortgage credit or loan. The measures addressed to people living in rented homes include rent moratorium and reduction for people in a situation of vulnerability, extraordinary extension of the rent agreement or extraordinary suspension of eviction procedures. In the case of homeowners with a mortgage credit, they can apply for a moratorium to adjourn the payment of their instalments.

You can find all the detailed information on the extraordinary measures for tackling the economic and social consequences of Covid-19 in the housing sphere on the IMHAB website. You can also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page to help resolve any further questions you may have.