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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.​

Finalists presented in the BCN-NYC Affordable Housing Challenge

20/03/2019 - 20:09

Housing. Three projects which make the most of innovative technology to respond to housing needs in dense cities.

The BCN – NYC Affordable Housing Challenge is an international competition to find innovative tools to cut building and renovation costs in dense urban areas, creating housing which is affordable for everybody. The three finalists were chosen by a multidisciplinary committee of experts who assessed a total of 54 projects put forward from all over the world.

The winning project will get $ 20,000 and be announced at the Smart Cities New York congress in May. Those heading the project will get the chance to present it at a meeting with municipal representatives for Housing and Technology from Barcelona and New York, with the recognition and international visibility this brings.

The three finalists are:

‘Elastic Living’

A system invented and patented by the Austrian architect Angelo Roventa to increase spatial flexibility using apartments with rooms that can be expanded or reduced according to needs, with sliding doors. The modules can be separated or made more compact in different combinations, creating functional spaces.

The proposal was presented in collaboration with ArqEstructura, a Barcelona consultancy specialising in the design and calculation of structures.


This approach to city density makes the most of the gaps still to be found in the urban make-up and puts them to new uses. A model for renovation and new construction based on light adaptable quick-build homes, enabling housing to be built with few anchoring supports or suspended in the air.

This proposal is a collaboration between the project for an affordable homebuilding system by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the project ‘innovació per la il·lusió’ by Straddle 3 Barcelona.

Col·lectiu Punt 6 SCCL

Accessible and affordable networked homes using everyday life as a point of union. The proposal by Col·lectiu Punt 6 SCCL, a Barcelona-based cooperative for collective housing projects, offers a feminist perspective and seeks to involve people who live in different housing models and share communal spaces. The idea is to collectivise domestic and communal work, bringing down costs and facilitating access to affordable housing.

The BCN-NYC Affordable Housing Challenge is organised by the i.lab from the Commissioner’s Office for Technology and Digital Innovation, and the Councillor’s Office for Housing and Renovation at Barcelona City Council and New York.


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