Ratcheting up the competition, Sun Hung Kai Properties yesterday said it would provide three-year warranties for new homes rather than the established market practice of one year. Hong Kong's second-largest developer by market value has already been offering a two-year warranty since 2007. Co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen announced the high-profile new policy. "The move by SHKP can be seen as an effort to differentiate itself from rivals by raising product quality," said Eddie Hui Chi-man, a professor from the department of building and real estate at Polytechnic University. Other developers in general provide a year's warranty after the flats are delivered to buyers. Hui said the longer warranty policy could partly be attributed to the change in customer profile as most speculators have retreated from the market since the government introduced a string of cooling measures to curb prices. "At present, the market is dominated by end-users. They are more demanding in terms of product quality as they will actually use the flats while speculators resell them for short-term profits," he said. Agents said SHKP is known for the quality of its buildings, which allows it to price its products higher than rivals. "Whenever SHKP launches a new project, it always sets the benchmark in the area. And buyers are willing to pay a big premium because of its brand," said one of the agents. Thomas Kwok said the move would further bolster confidence in SHKP's developments. Deputy managing director Mike Wong said the three-year warranty would apply to all new projects.