Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

April 23, 2008

Home Office Scheme period extended

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:47 am

THE Home Office Scheme (HOS), introduced in June 2003 with approval periods of three years, has been revised to allow longer approval of five years.

In a joint statement yesterday, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) also said 20,600 HOS applications have been approved so far. Of these, 19,500 are for HDB flats and 1,100 for private properties.

The applications are mainly for IT consultancy, Web design, real estate services and advertising. A report in March 2007 put the number of people using HOS at about 21,000.

While there is no significant change in the active number, it is understood that some ventures that started off under HOS have moved on to commercial premises after their scope expanded beyond HOS.

One former HOS user is Chia Kok Tiong, who applied for HOS to set up his 3D-computer visualisation business called VIImaging in his four-room HDB flat in Serangoon North.

After about eight months, he found that business had grown to a point where he needed to employ three staff. He has since moved to a 600-sq-ft office premises on French Road for which he pays $1,500 per month. ‘It looks more professional,’ he said. HOS is seen as a possible launch pad for SMEs.

Lawrence Leow, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said: ‘With HOS, entrepreneurs are able to save on the cost of setting up office space, which often forms the bulk of business costs. HOS is, therefore, tremendously helpful in encouraging start-ups and promoting entrepreneurship in Singapore.

‘I believe that extending the approval periods from three to five years will help entice more individuals to set up businesses.’

Source : Business Times – 1 Apr 2008

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