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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 social housing and co-housing projects of Fabra i Coats and La Borda, finalists of the Spanish Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial Awards 2021

23/06/2021 - 09:21

Housing. The initiatives are two of the 70 works selected from a total of 581 proposals.

The public housing project with affordable rent for young people and the space for the Colla Castellera Jove of Barcelona [human tower team] Can Fabra has been chosen as a finalist of the “Panorama of Architecture and Urban Planning Works”, at the Spanish Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial Awards.

The project, developed by the Barcelona Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation and built in the industrial warehouses of the Fabra i Coats complex, in the neighbourhood of Sant Andreu del Palomar, has been one of the 70 projects chosen to pass to the final round, which will award 20 as the most relevant in terms of Spanish architecture and urban planning over the last few years. Highlights of the project by the Roldán Berengué architects’ firm is the renovation and preservation of the industrial heritage to re-use its physical, spatial and historic qualities and reinforce the nature of the original building. It also highlights the development of social housing and affordable rent in the city. In this sense, it has highlighted the contribution to the neighbourhood of more than 28,000 m2 in social housing and facilities.

Another project in the 70 finalists is La Borda, a project that recovers Can Batlló, an old industrial complex from the end of the 19th century in the Sants-Montjuic neighbourhood, on a plot of land transferred by Barcelona City Council for 75 years. This project, in which the Lacol cooperative of architects took part, became the first new co-housing building in the city of Barcelona.

The Spanish Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial Awards will be held for the first time in two locations in tandem: from 28 June to 16 September, at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, and from 2 July to 10 October at the Herreniano Patio of the Spanish Contemporary Art Museum in Valladolid. Under the slogan “Empty Spain, full Spain. Strategies for conciliation”, this year’s event proposes approaching the diverse territorial reality with the aim of outlining similarities and differences that enable common areas regarding territory, society, sustainability, gender, demographics, collectivity and economy to be defined. Social reality and access to housing are, therefore, key issues in this biennial. As the judges state, the chosen works “respond to society’s challenges, which are connected and rooted in the places they are found and which provide solutions to improve the social and cultural context in which they work”.

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