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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 attend to users face to face by prior appointment. Consult the “Housing calls you” service here to receive more suitable personalised assistance. Meanwhile, anyone residing in a public dwelling managed by the IMHAB can consult its contact, management and procedure channels here.

An unprecedented boost to the public housing offer

16/08/2018 - 11:51

Housing. Barcelona City Council has 4,547 flats under construction, a production rate that has never before been achieved

The construction of public housing in Barcelona has reached unprecedented figures. Currently, the city has 66 construction projects underway, which will add a total of 4,547 flats, a rate that has never before been achieved.

The aim is for the public housing offer to expand to 13,000 flats in 2022, a figure that would represent the same number of homes being built in 8 years as during the previous 80 years.

80% of these homes will be allocated as affordable rentals, a model that is being especially prioritized because it promotes equality in housing access.

Apart from the new constructions, the number of homes managed by the Municipal Institute of Housing and Rehabilitation of Barcelona (IMHAB, in its Catalan acronym) is also expanding, with purchases of already constructed buildings. 497 homes have been acquired in this way.

The promotion of the public housing offer is one of the priorities included in the Barcelona Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025. With these measures, which are 95% financed by municipal resources and have the support of European public banks, the aim is to respond to the residential needs of the population that is unable to access housing through the free market.


Other initiatives to promote affordable housing

The City Council has initially approved the processing of a proposal so that 30% of newly built homes and large renovations are protected.

This initiative, promoted by the social organizations that fight for the right to housing in the city, would contribute between 300 and 400 flats each year to the city’s affordable housing.

Finally, processing has been initiated of a measure to extend to the entire city the capacity of the City Council to apply the right of first refusal and retraction. The aim of this initiative is for the consistory to have preference in all the city’s buying and selling of real estate in order to speed up the expansion of affordable housing.


A new tool to check on the growth of public housing 

The growth of public housing in Barcelona can be viewed with the new informative resource offered by the Housing website of the Barcelona City Council: the map of the new public housing developments that are being built in the city.

The tool, which can be found on the main page of the website and on the public housing page, shows updated information on the projects that are currently underway.

It is an interactive resource that allows users to filter the results with several criteria, such as the location of new constructions, the stage of the work, or the type of development.

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