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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.​

What are the goals and challenges of the Right to Housing Plan in Eixample?

01/02/2017 - 15:04

Housing plan. The new Barcelona Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025 includes all the housing actions in the district of Eixample in order to improve the living conditions of citizens.


The Full City Council meeting held on 27 January approved the new Barcelona Right to Housing Plan (PDHB 2016-2025), which includes all the housing actions that should enable us to improve the living conditions of Barcelona’s citizens.

In Eixample’s case the PDHB actions are organised around three axes:

  • Addressing, reversing and preventing the housing emergency
  • Increasing the supply of affordable housing
  • Maintaining, redeveloping and improving the current housing stock


Eixample is the district with the most people in the city (over 266,000 residents) and it has one of the highest family income indices but it is also one of the few districts that has seen a fall in the number of households.

This displacement is linked to the growth in flats for tourist use, of which there are 4,607 in the district that are legal and 6,653 that are illegal (42% of the total in Barcelona). In fact, Eixample has the most tourist accommodation in the city.

The report also highlights the need to promote public homes for elderly people, to address the problem of an ageing population, as the percentage of elderly residents is above the city average. This makes the problems of accessibility and housing conservation worse, because these situations of insecurity are difficult to detect.


Lack of social housing stock

Together with Gràcia and Ciutat Vella, Eixample is one of the districts with the most properties for rent, 37% of the stock according to the figures for 2011 (the latest available). Despite this, the price of housing is above the city average and in recent years there has been a sharp rise in prices.

Coupled with this, there is little protected (social) housing. This shortage means the City Council is forced to explore other avenues in an effort to find flats for social rented accommodation, such as renovation, buying and sharing public-private developments, provide access to temporary lets, promote cohabitation agreements, assigned use and so on.

The PDHB defines various mechanisms for promoting affordable housing in the district. Some of the initiatives include creating “dotational” housing (for specific groups) using land earmarked for facilities, or the relocation of under-used green zones and the promotion of social protected (HPO) housing.


Improving the conditions of the existing housing stock

Eixample has the oldest residential stock in the city (apart from Ciutat Vella) and, together with Sants-Montjuïc, the stock is in the worst state of repair. So additional impetus will be given to renovation and maintenance systems that will give the city a greater social return.

On the other hand, the flats in Eixample are the biggest in the city: a quarter are between 90 and 120 m2. This means it is possible to subdivide them, a practice that is already taking place, so the City Council wants to study some mechanisms and take advantage of this subdivision to generate affordable housing, because Eixample is the district with the least HPO housing in the city.


Sustainable renovation in Eixample

The main housing project carried out in Eixample to date has been the Efficient Block, designed to establish a comprehensive sustainable renovation model where ordinary citizens drive the process of change in their home.

It is located in a block formed by Gran Via and three other streets, Viladomat, Diputació and Calàbria, where more than 700 people live in 27 buildings. To create the project, the City Council held a competition for ideas on the sustainable renovation of a block in Eixample, thus encouraging active public participation.

This project is currently at the development stage of drafting and implementing the Energy Renovation Master Plan. In the third and final stage, there will be a campaign to publicise the experience to get other Barcelona communities and other areas involved in energy renovation processes.


A plan to guarantee the right to housing

The purpose of the 2016-2025 Right to Housing Plan is to ensure everyone has access to a decent home at an affordable price. To achieve this, the City Council is working with social organisations, professional bodies and members of the sector to defend this right, which is fundamental for the municipal government’s policies.

In this regard, the Metropolitan Housing Observatory acts as an instrument of analysis and support for the authorities in monitoring housing market trends and identifying possible inequalities and social realities that require urgent attention.

The Observatory’s Technical Committee is now preparing to create a Barcelona rent index , which will serve as a benchmark for measuring rent trends and avoiding rises that stop many families finding a place to live at an affordable price.

The new Housing Plan also envisages the creation of a public housing service to manage the new housing initiatives, such as increasing the public housing stock, promoting the Rental Housing Pool to incorporate vacant flats and increasing the renovations grants, as well as fostering new housing models, such as cohousing and assigned-for-use housing.

At the same time, the Special Urban Development Plan for Tourist Accommodation (PEUAT) establishes new regulations for controlling the appearance of new tourist flats and managing their impact on the city.

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