It all depends on location. One area may have super high appreciation in the higher end, like Brier Creek here in Raleigh, whereas other areas are appreciating more in the lower end of the scale, like anywhere in Cary/Morrisville, NC. If there is a lot of inventory that will slow the appreciation down somewhat, like what happened in Wake Forest, while a low supply will certainly quicken it. Generally homes in decent condition and in decent areas appreciate no matter what over time, it is just a matter of how fast or slow. Just look at how much homes were worth in the 50's compared to today. Some of that is obviously just inflation, but a lot has to do with real appreciation over time.
Even in today's market in Raleigh, where housing prices have 'dropped', if you look at the long term, you'll see that we actually experienced a boom in 2006, that shot housing prices way too high. Now they have dropped down to where they would have been if they had simply kept appreciating consistently. But if you bought a home in 2005 for $199K, then suddenly your house was worth $250K in 2006, then dropped back down to $235K in 2009, it may seem like you lost value, but you actually experienced a yearly appreciation of 4%!