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The government's eye-catching Help-to-Buy policy, designed to help people with low savings on to the housing ladder, came into effect this year coinciding with a rise in house prices across much of England and Wales. So is the policy aimed at first-time buyers a reasonable way of stimulating bank lending, construction and home-ownership – or is it a dangerous move towards boom and bust in the property market? Gavin Smart of the Chartered Institute of Housing debates the issue with Guardian economics correspondent Phillip Inman