Billionaire Barry Sternlicht said it was “a very tough decision” to further limit withdrawals from Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, the $10 billion fund that found itself stuck between investors’ desire to redeem shares and a distaste for selling at a discount. 

“We knew we were going to get a lot of flack,” Sternlicht said Wednesday in an interview on CNBC. “We hope this is going to be a six-month thing.”

Sternlicht’s comments follow news last month that the trust, known as SREIT, would cap monthly withdrawals at 0.33% of net asset value, down from a previous limit of 2%, electing to preserve the fund’s liquidity and avoid selling property into a down market or taking on new debt. The goal was to protect capital for investors who wanted to stick around, Sternlicht said. 

The move comes two years after the Federal Reserve started to raise interest rates aggressively, dragging down values for real estate and slowing transactions significantly. In the interview, Sternlicht said property markets are beginning to correct and that the trust can get better prices for assets later on.

Even so, commercial real estate owners are feeling the squeeze. Lenders, too, are grappling with lower values. On Tuesday, Axos Financial Inc. shares slumped after short seller Hindenburg Research alleged that the bank had “glaring” property loan issues and an “aggressive” valuation. The lender pushed back, saying the allegations contained a series of “inaccuracies.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.