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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.

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Barcelona City Council promotes the purchase of buildings to increase public and affordable housing in the city

01/03/2019 - 09:34

Housing. So far, 22 buildings have been purchased, totalling 401 homes that have been incorporated into the public housing market

With the aim of protecting and expanding the public housing available in the city, the Barcelona City Council has promoted the purchase of buildings and homes in recent years. It is an alternative to new constructions and, at the same time, it helps to guarantee the protection of the right to housing in neighbourhoods through the expansion of public and affordable housing.

The purchase of buildings is intended to prevent properties going into the hands of opportunists who speculate and create large real estate companies. When this happens, those most affected are the residents who are expelled from their homes and neighbourhoods. For this reason, the purchase of buildings serves to guarantee that protected housing in the city is safeguarded.

On the other hand, this action also promotes the renovation of the buildings and, therefore, the dignification of citizens’ living conditions and the improvement of public housing.

In addition, the flats that are obtained through the purchase of buildings are made available to the Social Emergency Committee, and are awarded to applicants that are enlisted in the Register of Housing Applicants. In this way, emergency situations due to the loss of habitual residence are also addressed.


Protect neighbours and dignify housing 

With this policy of buying buildings from the Barcelona City Council, it has been possible to guarantee that residents can stay in their homes while paying an affordable or social rent, depending on each case, and that they will not have to leave the neighbourhood.

This is the case, for example, of the residents of the building at l’Encuny 7, in Marina del Prat Vermell, a 114-storey protected building that was acquired by the Barcelona City Council at the end of 2018 to combat speculation and expulsion from the neighbourhood.

In addition, renovation permits the improvement and dignification of some homes that, in many cases, are in a state of abandonment since their previous owners neglected the obligation to keep them in decent and safe conditions. More than 70% of the homes bought by the Barcelona City Council are inhabited by families, while the rest are in the process of renovation. 


661 homes in public housing 

So far, Barcelona City Council has already invested more than 45 million euros to acquire 22 buildings, representing a total of 401 homes. 10 million euros have also been invested to renovate them.

On the other hand, thanks to agreements and other procedures, such as buyout and pre-emption, the City Council has incorporated an additional 200 homes to public housing.

Therefore, in the period 2016-2019, the number of homes acquired in total was 661. This is more than double those purchased in the period 2012-2015 (274 homes), and very far from those acquired between 2008 and 2011, when only 17 were purchased.

The consistory cannot buy homes continuously, so this solution is finite and timely within the territorial scope.

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