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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.​

Unanimous support for Barcelona’s bid as host city for the UIA Congress and as the World Capital of Architecture in 2026

30/06/2021 - 13:58

The designation will be made at the UIA’s Assembly, to be held towards the end of July in Rio de Janeiro.

Barcelona City Council, the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Catalan government, the Higher Council of Architects' Associations in Spain and the Official Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) have signed a general action to promote Barcelona’s bid.

Barcelona City Council, the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Catalan government, the Higher Council of Architects’ Associations in Spain and the Official Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) signed a general action protocol today to launch Barcelona’s bid as the host city for the World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and as the UIA-UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2026. A competition it is facing Beijing in and which will be decided, towards the end of July, in the framework of the UIA’s General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The signatory parties to the document recognise the value of architecture and urban planning as factors of quality of life and sense of social and cultural belonging, as well as a fundamental part of the right of citizens to a quality urban environment where they can fulfil their life project. They are therefore showing their determined support for a bid which – they concur- can represent a “great opportunity” for strengthening the role of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain as centres of contemporary architectural and urban-design production and thinking, by delving deeply into their capacities for transforming and improving people’s lives.

The Second Deputy Mayor at Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, remarked: “Barcelona has continually been a benchmark in urban planning and architecture throughout time: the city knows how to adapt itself to new needs“. According to Sanz, this can be seen from projects such as for superblocks, traffic-calming streets, new green corridors and gender urban planning. “We aim to be the Word Capital of Architecture to show our commitment to such architecture at its most social, sustainable and healthy and to lead the response to the challenges facing cities today“, she affirmed.

The UIA has been holding congresses since 1948 and their aim, on every occasion, has been to tackle the challenges facing society through the rigorous knowledge that professionals contribute to Architecture. Barcelona had already played host in 1996 to the World Congress, whose title was “Present and futures: architecture in cities”, to resounding public acclaim and international impact. Exactly 30 years on, holding the World Capital of Architecture will represent an opportunity for creating a new event with an international impact, conceived as a space for discussion and debate giving rise to specific proposals for improving the city’s urban quality and, by extension, the quality of life of its residents.

During the race towards Barcelona’s designation, the City Council expressed its intention on 25 January 2019, through an institutional declaration, to present its bid to turn the city into the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2026. A designation that is inextricably linked to holding the UIA World Congress of Architecture. As Spain’s representative to the International Union of Architects, the CSCAE formally presented the bid, since when, Barcelona City Council, the COAC and the CSCAE have been working jointly to submit the bid’s file and final dossier.

Barcelona was officially nominated by the UIA in January 2020 as candidate city with a single rival, the Chinese city of Beijing. The institutions are now carrying out the finishing touches of the bid, which will be defended a month from now in Rio de Janeiro.