She added: “They’re not bad cities, they’re easier to get around and they have a rich culture, but they’re not on the coast.”

She underscored the importance of consulting mortgage professionals who knew the local market well before choosing a location, pointing out that many buyers were “caught up in national headlines” and failed to realize that there were “pockets of affordable homes” in desirable neighborhoods in many of these metro areas.

“It’s important for buyers to get in touch with local professionals and really understand what’s happening when they’re looking for a home and not just pay attention to the big headline because national numbers and averages hide a lot of nuance for the individual buyer. Nuance is everything,” she added.

Given last year’s impact of COVID on the market, Renter was asked about the possible effects of the new omicron variant on the sector.

She said: “If I look back at the Delta variant, I would say the effects we’ll see from this one will be probably minimal. People still came out in force buying homes over this past summer, and unless this variant is considerably stronger and more impactful, I don’t see it having that huge an impact on the market.”