Tanca Tanca

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 kind of housing do we want in Barcelona?

19/10/2016 - 17:48

Housing. Professionals, experts and representatives of associations and cooperatives discuss a new housing model for Barcelona.


On 24 and 25 October we are holding the Conference on Housing as a forum for discussion between professionals, experts on different kinds of housing from around the world, and representatives of associations and cooperatives who will be bringing their experience and points of view on housing and new ways of living together.

The conference will provide an opportunity to find out about the new and more established realities of the housing sector: How is renting regulated in European capitals? How can tenants get organised to defend their interests? What rehabilitation options do we have for regenerating the buildings and environment we live in?


Social rental is a matter for everybody

The economic crisis and the boom Barcelona is enjoying as a tourist destination have had a direct impact on housing, one of the basic rights people have. Housing prices have soared and social rental housing is limited, but there are alternatives. Cohousing has been an established practice in the countries of northern Europe for many years.

Housing Europe is the European Federation of Social, Public and Cooperative Housing. It was set up in 1988 and is now a network of 44 regional and state federations in 23 countries which manage more than 26 million dwellings around the continent. Sorcha Edwards, the General Secretary of Housing Europe, will be speaking on the various social housing options available in Europe on Monday 24.

The following day there will be a roundtable discussion on a number of international cohousing experiences involving speakers on very different experiences such as Franciska Ullman, an architect and lecturer at the University of Stuttgart (Germany), and Raúl Vallés, architect, lecturer and a member of the Housing Cooperatives of Montevideo (Uruguay).

Other participants include Javier Burón, Barcelona City Council’s housing manager, and representatives of various bodies and associations that promote cohousing.


Regulating the rental market is a necessity

Faced with the effects of property speculation, it is becoming increasingly clear that rents need to be controlled by public administrations. Max Gigling, a researcher in social housing policies at the Valencia Housing Observatory, will outline some examples from cities such as Berlin and Paris, where local authorities have the power to control house rents.

However, access to affordable housing does not depend on the authorities alone. Since the start of the 20th century the International Union of Tenants (IUT) has brought regional and state tenants’ associations together to defend the right to a decent home. Magnus Hammar, the IUT’s general secretary, will tell us how these tenants’ unions work.


Prioritising rehabilitation

The construction of new architectural projects is a constant feature of the urban landscape but why don’t we breathe new life into existing buildings? Urban regeneration promotes a different kind of city model, one that opts for reconditioning existing buildings and making them more habitable. The idea behind this is to make them more efficient and more sustainable, while helping to improve people’s quality of life.

Juan Rubio del Val, who is in charge of the Urban Rehabilitation Area and Residential Innovation Projects at Sociedad Municipal Zaragoza Vivienda (SLU), will be taking part in a roundtable discussion on Tuesday 25 that will outline various reasons why urban rehabilitation benefits cities.


Affordable solutions for gaining access to housing

Developments in building materials and advances in construction techniques offer us alternatives to traditional constructions for tackling the current housing emergency.

There will be a discussion on Tuesday 25 where experts such as Sandra Bestraten, a lecturer at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB-UPC) and a member of the bharquitectura collective, will share their experiences and plans for improving efficiency and sustainability but, above all, making the right to housing more accessible.

The Housing Conference is part of the 2016 Architecture Congress and is being organised by Barcelona City Council in collaboration with the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Observatory (DESC) and the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC). The seminars and roundtables will take place at the COAC’s headquarters (Plaça Nova nº 5, Barcelona).

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