No, the reason that property can be such a good investment for individuals is the opportunity for leverage. I put down only a few thousand dollars (5%) on my house when I bought it, yet its increase in value is very large (several hundred thousand dollars). Of course, with leverage comes risk. Many people lost out dramatically in the recession when house prices dropped. My house value never droppped below its original purchase price.
And that risk has burned some folks significantly. I know folks who bought property with a 5/1 ARM, planning on moving before 5 years, or refinancing if they stayed. Four years into it, they hit the recession, couldn't sell their place, were underwater and unable to refinance, and saw their interest rate rise at the same time. They took a risk -- they're better now, but it was tough for a while.