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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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The 48H Open House festival presents the most innovative public housing buildings in Barcelona

16/10/2019 - 16:47

Architecture festival. The four sites with which the IMHAB collaborates - La Borda, Cases Barates of Bon Pastor, the homes of Can Fabra, and the homes of Carrer Tànger - are part of the Open Social category.

The 48H Open House architecture festival reaches its tenth edition on October 26 and 27, with the collaboration of the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB). This organisation that manages housing in the city has proposed four sites to visit for the Open Social category, which presents buildings designed and built for a social purpose and is one of the most popular in the festival. The visits, which do not require prior registration, will present some of the most innovative public housing buildings in the architectural field.

Four unique visits 

Can Fabra homes: This project is found in building G of the old Fabra i Coats factory and includes 46 social rental homes for young people. The construction used light materials, with a wooden structure for the homes and steel in the central hallways, in order to ensure the tenants’ independence with respect to the existing warehouse. This site can be visited on Sunday 27 from 11 to 19h.

Social and temporary housing on Tànger: A building with 46 public housing units organised in vertical blocks. It is a paradigmatic example of public housing buildings in the city of Barcelona in recent years: it creates public space, dignifies social rental housing, and is energetically sustainable. This site can be visited on Sunday 27 from 11 to 14h.

La Borda: A building located on Barcelona’s Carrer Constitució that represents a pioneering proposal. It’s a collective housing building owned by a cooperative, on land granted by the City Council through cession of use. The building is designed to promote community life and energy sustainability, and the entire building is planned for energy efficiency. This guided tour will take place on Saturday 26 at various times; at 11:00, 12:15, 13:30, 16:00, 17:15 and 18:30.

Cases Barates of Bon Pastor: A hybrid development made up of houses built in the 20s. The visit includes the exterior and interior of a well-preserved house with few modifications, which will allow the analysis of the changes and evolutions suffered over the years. This site can be visited on Sunday 27 from 11 to 14h.

A tribute to women architects 

The 48H Open House architecture festival, which lets you discover and get to know the urban landscape of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, ​​ pays tribute this year to all the forgotten women in architecture. The recognition is channeled through the figure of Pilar Casas Muro, a fictional architect, whose name and surnames are references to the world of construction, and who represents all the unnamed women in the history of architecture. Without these women, many of today’s great buildings would not exist.

As part of the tribute to female architects, the 48H Open House BCN festival has selected for its 2019 edition the work of 10 female architects to represent each of the different sections or geographical areas that make up the exhibition. For example, the renowned Benedetta Tagliabue is the representative of the Open Social category.

The IMHAB is also taking part in the tribute to women architects. Both the Can Fabra homes and the Tangier homes and accommodation, which can be visited, have two female architects, Mercè Berengué and Judith Leclerc, respectively.

In this year’s edition, the festival opens the doors of more than 200 buildings that are normally inaccessible to citizens, free of charge, and offers more than 30 itineraries and over 240 activities to learn about the urban environment of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.

Consolidated categories

The 48H Open House BCN festival completes 10 years of life with a series of consolidated and popular categories such as the aforementioned Open Social, and others such as Open Green, Open Kitchen, Water Architecture and Open Infrastructure.

Other categories have to do with the geographical scope and the populations participating in the festival. Apart from Barcelona this year, L’Hospitalet del Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Joan Despí and Vilassar de Dalt are participating. Each of these cities will contribute with five visits in the BCN Open House, which this year represent 30% of buildings that did not participate in the previous editions, except for Vilassar de Dalt, where four visits will be made.

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