The easy answer to this is, Absolutely!
A homes value in 'normal' times should increase anywhere between 2.6% - 5% a year. Now you should not expect the the appreciation values we have seen in the last 10 years, which has in turn led to the some of the issues we are faced with in today's market.
However several things can come into play when you look at appreciation values; the neighborhood, the condition of the property, and local economy in that city, and how much you ultimately pay in interest on a mortgage.
But in a nutshell, I would feel very confident in buying almost ANY real estate, if I was sure I was going to be able to keep it from 3-5 years.