The MANHATTAN BIDDING WAR has returned: Carlos Slim, reportedly the wealthiest man in the world, just won a bidding war on the Duke Semans Mansion at 1009 Fifth Avenue in New York City. His winning bid of $44 million outbid a Russian bidder whose bid was around $37 million. This is the largest multiple bid sale of 2010, and an indicator that the high end of the Manhattan luxury real estate market is alive and kicking. “This is an extraordinary sale,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman and head of the Luxuryloft team. “Then again, this is a really prized residence so it is not surprising that more than one person wanted to buy it…..especially two buyers who may have had great difficulty buying in the tough co-op’s on Fifth Avenue.” LUXURYLETTER has repeatedly reported on the demand by the super-wealthy for the best of the best, noting that there is actually a shortage of ridiculously expensive real estate in Manhattan.