Listed REITs tend to have better governance standards and are more transparent. They also offer the most liquid shares, which means that investors can easily buy and sell REIT shares much faster, for example, than investing and selling real estate themselves. For these reasons, many investors only buy and sell publicly traded REITs. Real estate investment trusts, or REITs for short, can be fantastic securities for generating significant portfolio income.
REITs generally offer a higher dividend yield than the average stock. Here are the top five REITs, according to Ben Reynolds, whose team at Sure Dividend has launched a service that ranks more than 110 REITs each month. FCPT's most significant competitive advantage is its high-quality management. FCPT offers an attractive dividend yield of 4.7.Its current payout ratio is high at 83%, but the REIT has proven to be resilient to the pandemic.
CareTrust, our fourth highest-ranked REIT, is a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops and leases skilled nursing, seniors housing and other healthcare properties. The company's real estate portfolio comprises 225 skilled nursing facilities, multi-service campuses and assisted living facilities consisting of 23,542 beds and operating units located in 28 states. The fund's competitive strength lies in the geographic diversity of its portfolio of properties in 28 different states and its long-term triple net lease structure, which places many of the costs on the operators rather than the fund. Although funds from operations have been somewhat volatile, the fund has grown by 13.1 and 9.1 on average over the last 6 and 5 years, which is solid.
Going forward, we conservatively estimate that FFO can continue to grow by 5.5%. Alpine Income, our third highest ranked REIT, is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates a high quality portfolio of net lease commercial properties. In addition, we expect annual FFO per share growth of 7.0%, while the REIT has a dividend yield of 5.3.We expect an annual total return of 11.6n over the next five years. We see Omega's growth of only 2n annualised, which is well below its historical average of over 5%.
We like its exposure to the growing population of people in need of assisted living, but tenant solvency issues and costly financing have held back growth of late, and we think this may persist. It is Manhattan's largest office landlord, with 77 buildings totaling 35 million square feet. The pandemic has hurt several companies that are SLG tenants. New York has one of the lowest office space occupancy rates in the U.S.
Its funds from operations (FFO) per share declined 6 percent only due to higher lease termination revenues in the last quarter of the year. Excluding this factor, FFO per share would have been up 2 per cent. SLG has 40 years of experience in Manhattan, so it has a wealth of experience in the area. It has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years and currently offers a dividend yield of 5.3.Thanks to its financial strength, the REIT can withstand the current crisis and emerge stronger when the pandemic subsides.
It can also maintain its attractive dividend of 5.3, which is well covered with a payout ratio of 56%. SLG is therefore suitable for income-oriented investors who can wait patiently for the pandemic to subside. SLG benefits from reliable rental rate growth in one of the world's most popular commercial areas, Manhattan. The REIT pursues growth by acquiring attractive properties and increasing rental rates at its existing properties.
It enters into multi-year leases (7 to 15 years) with its tenants to ensure reliable cash flows. SLG has increased its funds from operations per share at an annual rate of 4.5 over the last decade and at an annual rate of 2.2 over the last five years. We expect earnings growth of 5 p.a. over the next five years, from this year's somewhat low level, which has been a consequence of the pandemic.
On balance, the fund is growing rapidly, focusing on what appears to be the golden niche in terms of healthcare related real estate investment, and even with flat dividend growth it pays a compelling yield. It receives at least 75 per cent of gross income from real estate, such as real estate rents, interest on the mortgages that finance it, or sales of real estate. They allow investors to easily invest in the real estate sector, which includes companies that own, develop and manage residential, commercial and industrial properties. As this wave of acquisitions continues, investors gain access to a larger portfolio of real estate, offering enormous potential for future income.
The trust met 98th contractual rent and mortgage payments in July, 98th or the second quarter, and 99th or the first quarter, as collections have improved tremendously since the worst of the pandemic. By investing in these funds, you can own your piece of real estate without having to make the large investment required to purchase a property. Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are often considered defensive stocks because they tend to be stable regardless of how the overall market performs. REIT rhymes with "sweet" to refer to real estate investment trusts, and their popularity is growing for investors looking to broaden their portfolio beyond publicly traded company stocks or mutual funds.
Instead of buying individual REITs, one can also invest in REIT mutual funds and ETFs for instant diversification at an affordable price. Investors should consult a financial advisor or do their own due diligence before making any investment decisions. Like Equinix, Digital Realty Trust is a data centre REIT focused on acquiring and leasing data centre space for some of the world's leading technology players. Index-linked investments in REITs showed a total return of 11.6 y/y versus 6.29 y/y for the Russell 1000.
Of course, all funds in this category invest in real estate, but it is important for the fund to diversify these investments.