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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.​

Three buildings in Horta acquired to avoid 45 families being forced out

18/02/2021 - 16:19

Housing. The three buildings located in C/ Doctor Letamendi and C/ Mont-ral, in the Horta neighbourhood, have been acquired by exercising the right to first refusal.

The three properties in C/ Doctor Letamendi and C/ Mont-ral, in the neighbourhood of Horta, have been acquired by exercising the right to first refusal, preventing another episode of speculation by a vulture fund in the city. The purchase will avoid the expulsion of the 45 families living in the buildings, many of them at risk of social exclusion.

The acquisition of the three buildings, currently in a very poor state of repair, involved a sum of 1.4 million euros. The move will mean residents with rental agreements which have expired and not renewed will be able to stay on, and also allow for the complete renovation of the buildings.

The operation responds to calls from local residents, who for years have suffered the owner’s non-compliance over the upkeep of the buildings, along with more recent attempts to put the buildings in the hands of vulture funds.

The renovation of the buildings will cost 4.4 million euros and will be included in the agreement signed in November with organisations from the social and cooperative housing sector to guarantee the right to housing. As set out in the agreement, the use of the land will be granted to the foundation, in this case Cohabitac, so that they can take responsibility for the renovation and management of the buildings.

According to preliminary studies by the Municipal Institute for Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), following the renovation of the buildings there could be 36 homes. Any families unable to stay on as a result of the reduction in the total number of homes will be provided with a public rental home as near to the same location as possible.

Nearly 900 homes acquired in six years

This acquisition was possible thanks to the approval in the last term of office of the declaration of the whole city as an area for the right of first refusal for whole buildings. The City Council has bought 26 properties since the strategy was introduced, involving an investment of 70 million euros to expand the public housing stock and stop property speculation.


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