Our principal business consists of attracting retail and commercial deposits from the general public and investing those funds, along with borrowed funds, in loans secured by first and second mortgages on one- to four-family residences (including home equity loans and lines of credit), commercial and multifamily, construction and land, consumer and commercial business loans. We offer a variety of secured and unsecured consumer loan products, including manufactured home loans, floating homes, automobile loans, boat loans and recreational vehicle loans. As part of our business, we focus on residential mortgage loan originations, the majority of which we sell to Fannie Mae. We sell loans which conform to the underwriting standards of Fannie Mae (conforming) with servicing retained to maintain the direct customer relationship and to continue providing strong customer service to our borrowers. We also originate loans which do not conform to the underwriting standards of Fannie Mae (non-conforming) loans to be held in our loan portfolio and for sale with servicing released. We originate and retain a significant amount of commercial real estate loans, including those secured by owner-occupied and nonowner-occupied commercial real estate, multifamily property, manufactured home parks and construction and land development loans.
We serve the Seattle Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the city of Seattle, King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County within the Puget Sound region, and Clallam and Jefferson Counties on the North Olympic Peninsula of Washington. We serve these markets through our main office in Seattle, five branch offices, two of which are located in the Seattle MSA, two that are located in Clallam County and one that is located in Jefferson County, and a loan production office located in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle. Based on the most recent branch deposit data provided by the FDIC, our share of deposits in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA was approximately 0.18%, in King County approximately 0.10%, in Pierce County approximately 0.39% and in Snohomish County approximately 0.37%. In Clallam County and Jefferson County, we have approximately 15.59% and 3.63%, respectively, of the deposits in those markets. See – Competition.
Our market area includes a diverse population of management, professional and sales personnel, office employees, manufacturing and transportation workers, service industry workers and government employees, as well as retired and self-employed individuals. The population has a skilled work force with a wide range of education levels and ethnic backgrounds. Major employment sectors include information and communications technology, financial services, manufacturing, maritime, biotechnology, education, health and social services, retail trades, transportation and professional services. The largest employers headquartered in our market area include U.S. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Navy Region Northwest, Microsoft, University of Washington, and Providence Health. Other significant employers include Costco, Boeing, Nordstrom, Amazon.com, Inc., Starbucks, Alaska Air Group and Weyerhaeuser.
Economic conditions have improved since the end of the economic recession, however, economic growth has been slow and uneven, presenting an unusually challenging environment for banks and their holding companies, including us. Property values, which began improving in 2013, have generally stabilized, although some properties collateralizing our loans are still valued lower than when the related loans were originated. Recent trends in housing prices and unemployment rates in our market areas generally reflect continuing improvement. For the month of December 2015, the Seattle MSA reported an unemployment rate of 5.0%, as compared to the national average of 4.8%, according to the latest available information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Home prices in our markets also improved over the past year. Based on information from Case-Shiller, the average home price in the Seattle MSA increased 10.0% in 2015 from 2014. This compares favorably to the national average home price index increase in 2015 of 5.4%.
King County has the largest population of any county in the state of Washington, covers approximately 2,100 square miles, and is located on the Puget Sound. It has approximately 2.0 million residents and a median household income of approximately $89,600. King County has a diversified economic base with many industries including shipping and transportation (Port of Seattle, Paccar, Inc. and Expeditors International of Washington, Inc.), retail (Amazon.com, Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Nordstrom, Inc.) aerospace (the Boeing Company) and computer technology (Microsoft Corp.) and biotech industries. Based on information from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the median sales price in King County in December 2015 was $508,000, a 15.0% increase from December 2014s median sale price of $442,000.
Pierce County has the second largest population of any county in the State of Washington, covers approximately 1,700 square miles and is located along the southwestern Puget Sound. It has approximately 831,900 residents